New Cabinet to be sworn in Monday
Central News Agency
2013-02-17 03:29 PM
Taipei, Feb. 17 (CNA) Taiwan's new Premier and his Cabinet will be sworn in on Monday in the first Cabinet reshuffle since President Ma Ying-jeou took office for his second term in 2012. Incoming Premier Jiang Yi-huah, Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo, and 39 other Cabinet officials will be sworn in by Ma at the Presidential Office. Jiang will then head to the Executive Yuan where outgoing Premier Sean Chen will hand over the reins to him. According to a preliminary schedule, Jiang is to hold his first Cabinet meeting the same day after the swearing-in ceremony. The new Cabinet will be confronted by several challenges, including the heated nuclear safety issue, as the two-year anniversary of Japan's March 11, 2011 disaster approaches. 2013 will mark a crucial year for Taiwan's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, which is still under construction. State-run utility Taiwan Power Company, which runs the nuclear power plant, is scheduled to apply to the Atomic Energy Council in February 2014 to load fuel rods into the plant's first reactor in July 2014 and begin commercial operations in October 2015. According to people familiar with the issue, Ma's principle to eventually phase out nuclear energy remains unchanged. The nation's fourth nuclear power plant will only begin operations after proving itself safe to operate, the source said. Another challenge for the new Cabinet will be the long-stalled talks between Taiwan and the U.S. on the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). The two sides are expected to resume talks on TIFA in March. Jiang is scheduled to hold another Cabinet session on Feb. 23. The new Cabinet lineup includes incoming Executive Yuan secretary-general Chen Wei-jen, Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih, Minster of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch, and head of the Council for Economic Planning and Development Kuan Chung-ming. (By Kelven Huang and Ann Chen)
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