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Taiwan appoints new premier after resignations over poll defeats

11 January 2019

Taiwan on Friday appointed the former chairman of its ruling pro-independence party as premier, after the incumbent resigned along with the entire cabinet, in response to the local election defeats. Tsai appointed Su Tseng-chang, a two-term former chairman of her Democratic Progressive Party, saying Taiwan faced challenges amid rising Chinese threats and trade tension between key backer the United States and China.

Su's appointment followed the widely expected resignation of William Lai, the second premier to quit since Tsai took office in 2016, in line with a practice of leaders quitting when their party loses a major election. November's election losses presented a major challenge to President Tsai Ing-wen, who faced mounting criticism at home over her reform agenda while facing renewed threats from China.