TAIPEI - The Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced yesterday that Defence Minister Yen Ming's (嚴明) official resignation has been approved.
According to a press release from the Presidential Office, President Ma Ying-jeou extended an offer for Yen to stay on multiple occasions before finally approving his resignation request.
Due to Yen's "personal life plans," he requested to leave his post at the MND.
Yen's resignation has been a long time coming, as rumours have been buzzing over the matter for the past few weeks. He hopes that his departure will "pass on the baton to the next generation."
According to the Presidential Office, Yen looks forward to the prospect of promoting a younger generation within the MND and to shaking up the "bloodline."
Although Ma has approved Yen's departure, he has asked Yen to consider becoming a member of the president's national policy advisory team.
Chief of General Staff Kao Kuang-chi will assume the position of defence minster, replacing Yen.
Army Commander General Yen Teh-fa has been promoted to chief of general staff.
Deputy Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng will be assuming the Army commander seat.
Deputy Chief of General Staff Liao Jung-hsing and Navy Commander Chen Yung-kang have been made the president's strategy consultants.
The MND announced nine position shifts in total. The new positions will go into effect on Jan. 30, the MND said.
Responding to Yen's departure, Military spokesman Luo Shao-he said that the shuffling of high-level officials was completed according to administrative protocols and the public does not need to speculate on any ulterior motives.
Yen has finished his tasks for this stage and believes that it is a suitable time to resign, said Luo.
The transition between personnel will not be a problem since all military agencies are familiar with their responsibilities, Luo said.
According to Luo, Yen has tendered his resignation to Ma many times in order to encourage opportunities for his subordinates to advance.
When asked what policy Kao would focus on once he assumes the defence minister position, Luo said he has not yet heard from Kao since the new reshuffle was only announced yesterday.
Word on the Street
In addition to hearsay about Yen's resignation, National Development Council Minister Kuan Chung-ming was also reported recently to be contemplating resignation.
When asked about the speculation, Kuan said that his main focus is to perform well at his job.
Council of Agriculture Chief Chen Bao-ji is also rumored to be departing from his post to take responsibility for the spread of the bird flu outbreak.