Taiwan Names New Defense Minister in High-Level Shakeup

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Taiwan’s presidential office named the former head of the National Security Bureau, Chiu Kuo-cheng, as its new defense minister in a major reshuffle of the island’s key national security posts on Friday.

Chiu, a former general in Taiwan’s military, will replace outgoing defense minister Yen De-fa, a presidential office spokesman said in a press conference. Yen will move on to the National Security Council advisory committee.

The move comes amid China’s increasingly aggressive posture toward democratic Taiwan. In addition to threatening it with military invasion, Beijing has blocked Taiwan’s access to the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly during the pandemic as a means of pressuring President Tsai Ing-wen to accept its claim on the island.

Tsai expects Chiu to complete the next stage of reforms for Taiwan’s military, which involve non-traditional threats, asymmetrical warfare and joint operations, presidential office spokesperson Chang Tun-han said at the briefing.

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