Tsai outlines policy focus for newly-appointed premier (update)

Taipei-President Tsai Ing-wen (???), in announcing the appointment of a new premier on Tuesday, outlined seven major policy goals for the new Cabinet, including the 5+2 Transformation Plan.

Tsai officially announced that Tainan Mayor Lai Ching-te (???) will be the new premier, replacing Lin Chuan (??), who made public his intention to stand down the previous day, after assuming office on May 20, 2016.

The president said she is confident Lai has a good understanding of public opinion and will be able to rapidly respond to the needs of people across Taiwan.

"We have seen his executive capability," she said of the new premier, a highly-rated national lawmaker from 1999 to 2010.

Lai was elected Tainan mayor in 2010 and won a second term four years later with 72.9 percent of the vote, the highest ever in a mayoral election since 1987, when the martial law was lifted in Taiwan.

At Tuesday's press conference, Tsai said the focus of the incoming administration will switch from "planning" to "execution."

She also outlined seven key tasks for "Premier Lai," with particular focus on the continued implementation of the 5+2 Transformation Plan, referring to five "pillar industries" -- the Internet of Things (also dubbed Asia Silicon Valley), biotech, green energy, smart machinery and defense -- plus high-value agriculture and the circular economy.

The government is counting on the program to boost innovation, transform industrial structure, create well-paid employment opportunities and facilitate more balanced regional development.

Other major policy goals mentioned by Tsai include the efficient promotion of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, as well as continued efforts to improve labor safety and work conditions, while maintaining workforce flexibility in the industrial manufacturing sector during economic transformation.

Tsai also said she hoped Lai's Cabinet would implement energy policy plans to ensure stable electricity supply and build a nuclear-free home; while also completing tax reform work and other ongoing reform plans; accelerate the implementation of long-term care and child care programs and reinforce comprehensive planning for national development.

The president reiterated her expectation that Lai's team will ensure all programs remain on schedule and within budget to prevent financial waste.

"Premier Lin has laid the foundation for all these tasks and now we are counting on Mayor Lai, the future premier, to accelerate reforms and build up the nation," Tsai said.

The Lin Cabinet is expected to resign en masse on Thursday, with Lai expected to take over as premier the following day, according to sources in the Presidential Office.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel