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New Taiwan Cabinet sworn in

This comes in a bid to revive the ruling Democratic Progressive Party's flagging fortunes amid a stalled economy and rising tensions with rival China.

india Updated: Jan 25, 2006 10:59 IST

Former ruling party chairman Su Tseng-chang was sworn in on Wednesday as Taiwan's premier along with a new Cabinet.

This comes in a bid to revive the party's flagging fortunes amid a stalled economy and rising tensions with rival China.

President Chen Shui-bian selected Su for the island's No 3 leadership post last week after the resignation of Frank Hsieh, who said he was leaving over disagreements with Chen's hardline policy toward China, from which Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949.

Su's Cabinet team is a mixture of old and new. Su selected Tsai Ing-wen as vice premier.

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker is a former head of the Mainland Affairs Council-- the body in charge of relations with China.

Tsai can be expected to fill in some major gaps for Su, who has keen political skills but little experience in international affairs or China policies.

MAC Chairman Joseph Wu and Defense Minister Lee Jye are staying in place.

For his economic team, Su recruited top managers from state-run enterprises.

Bank of Taiwan Chairman Joseph Lyu is taking over the Finance Ministry, while utility Taiwan Power Company Chairman Morgan Hwang becomes economics minister.

Chen's deputy chief-of-staff James Huang is the new foreign minister.

The Foreign Ministry is less important than many other posts on the island because Taiwan only has 25 diplomatic allies-- mostly small or impoverished nations in Africa, Latin America and the Pacific.

Su is the fifth premier since Chen was elected in 2000.