Minister of National Defense Yen Ming resigned January 27, citing personal and professional reasons. He was replaced by Chief of the General Staff Kao Kuang-chi, who had previously briefly held the position of acting Defense Minister in August, 2013.
Two days later, Premier Mao Chi-kuo also accepted the resignation of Minister of the National Development Council Kuan Chung-ming. Kuan reportedly had expressed determination to leave the post as early as December last year over frustration with the lack of progress on the Free Economic Pilot Zone legislation in the Legislative Yuan and disappointment with the overall political environment. With Kuan returning to the faculty at National Taiwan University, Minister without Portfolio Woody Duh was tapped to take over as NDC minister.
Another Cabinet member, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi, resigned on February 10 after prosecutors found no evidence to back up charges he leveled last August against his former deputy, Chang Hsien-yao. Wang had accused Chang of leaking national secrets to China, including Taiwan’s bottom line in trade negotiations, leading to Chang’s removal from office. After investigators cleared Chang of all charges for lack of evidence, Wang submitted his resignation “to take responsibility.”
Personnel changes also occurred among high-level presidential staff. On February 5, the Presidential Office confirmed resignations by National Security Council Secretary-General King Pu-tsung, one of President Ma Ying-jeou’s closest political advisers, and Presidential Office Secretary-General Timothy Yang, a former foreign minister. King, who cited personal health as his reason for resigning, is reported to have recently undergone at least two heart surgeries. Yang tendered his resignation on the grounds that his mission had been accomplished and that he needed to care for his elderly mother. As per custom, he will continue to serve as a senior advisor to the president.
Yang has been succeeded by Tseng Yung-chuan, former deputy legislative speaker. King was replaced by Kao Hua-chu, a former Minister of National Defense who served in that role from 2009 until July 29, 2013, when he resigned to take responsibility for the abuse-death of Corporal Hung Chung-chia.