• Taiwan seeks ‘new phase’ of China ties in reshuffle


    TAIPEI: Taiwan replaced its China affairs chief on Friday, promoting a minister associated with pro-independence politics in what it said was a bid to forge a “new phase” in relations with rival Beijing. Chen Ming-tong will take over the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) which oversees Taiwan’s relations with China. He previously served as head of the MAC from 2007 to 2008 under Taiwan’s former president Chen Shui-bian. Cabinet Spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung said that Chen “is familiar with cross-strait exchanges and he can also create a new phase and a new vision in cross-strait affairs by returning to the job.” Presidential secretary-general Joseph Wu, a confidant of Tsai with expertise in international and cross-strait relations, also became the new foreign minister. Analysts said the move, part of a major reshuffle, signaled a push by President Tsai Ing-wen to take a more assertive stance as ties with the Chinese government grow increasingly frosty. China still sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified and has cut off official communications with Taipei as Tsai refuses to acknowledge the self-ruling, democratic island is part of “one China.”


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