Taiwan appoints new, British-educated intelligence chief
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen appointed a new intelligence chief on Thursday, a British-educated senior diplomat, as part of a broader government reshuffle currently underway and as the island faces growing military threats from China.
Tsai's office said that deputy foreign minister Tsai Ming-yen, who has previously served as Taiwan's de facto ambassador to the European Union, had been appointed as the new head of the National Security Bureau, replacing Chen Ming-tong who has resigned expressing a desire to "rest".
Tsai, who has a doctorate from King's College London's department of war studies, has also previously worked as an advisor to Taiwan's defence ministry and China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council.
The president hopes to rely on Tsai's expertise in regional security, foreign affairs and international strategy to assist the national security team in the "interpretation and precise decision-making" for the situation with China and in the region, her office said.
The president also hopes he will "continue to promote the specialised tasks of the intelligence system, and continue to strengthen the governance and innovation of intelligence agencies in the era of democratisation".
The two share a common family name but are not related.
China has been ramping up military and political pressure to try and get Taiwan to accept Beijing's sovereignty, including staging war games near the island in August.
Taiwan's government rejects China's claims and says only the island's 23 million people can decide their future.
Tsai on Wednesday also tapped former vice president Chen Chien-jen as Taiwan's new premier, and she will on Friday hold a news conference to formally unveil a new cabinet.
Former Premier Su Tseng-chang submitted his resignation last week along with that of his cabinet ahead of the widely expected government reshuffle.
Su's move followed the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) trouncing at local polls in November, and comes as Taiwan gears up for presidential and parliamentary elections in early 2024.
(This story has been refiled to add the dropped word 'new' in the first paragraph)
(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Frank Jack Daniel)