The Office of the President held a press conference on the evening of February 19 to address changes to the national security team, with Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) explaining the new personnel arrangements.
Spokesperson Chang stated that the national security team will undergo a realignment in response to the changing regional and international political and economic landscape of the post-pandemic era. After considering the overall situation, soliciting advice, and holding discussions with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), President Tsai Ing-wen has reorganized the team for the next stage of its mission, with Minister of National Defense Yen Teh-fa (嚴德發) to move to the National Security Council (NSC) as an advisor, and current National Security Bureau (NSB) Director-General Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) to succeed him as the next national defense minister. Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) will assume leadership of the NSB, with former NSC Advisor Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) to succeed him at MAC.
Spokesperson Chang mentioned that incoming NSC Advisor Yen, National Defense Minister Chiu, NSB Director-General Chen, and MAC Minister Chiu share four traits: first, they are all highly professional; second, they have the vision to see the big picture; third, they are seasoned leaders with extensive experience who can settle into their new roles immediately; and fourth, they all meet the national security team's needs for the next stage of its mission.
Spokesperson Chang emphasized that President Tsai hopes the NSC, led by Secretary-General Wellington Koo (顧立雄), will continue to coordinate overall strategic planning among key national security portfolios. Secretary-General to the President David Lee (李大維), Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), and Representative to the US Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) will continue to manage foreign affairs; NSB Director-General Chen, MAC Minister Chiu, and Straits Exchange Foundation Vice Chairman Chan Chih-hung (詹志宏) will oversee cross-strait affairs; and NSC Advisor Yen, National Defense Minister Chiu, and Chief of the General Staff Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) will lead on national defense and security. With this reshuffle, Taiwan will continue to implement national defense reform, strengthen our military capabilities, and extend our cooperation with like-minded countries in order to uphold peace, stability, development, and prosperity in the Taiwan Strait and across the region.