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Cablegate: Steve Chen Promoted to Economic Minister

VZCZCXRO0392
RR RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #2634 2160921
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 040921Z AUG 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1439
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3368
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5516
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7991
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6545
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 7899
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 9772
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 3902
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 3542
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 3107
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4265
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1538
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6726
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0296
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 9476

UNCLAS TAIPEI 002634

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE PLEASE PASS USTR

STATE FOR EAP/RSP/TC, EAP/EP

USTR FOR ALTBACH

USDOC FOR 3132/USFCS/OIO/EAP/WZARIT
TREASURY FOR OASIA/LMOGHTADER
TREASURY PLEASE PASS TO OCC/AMCMAHON
TREASURY ALSO PASS TO FEDERAL RESERVE/BOARD OF
GOVERNORS, AND SAN FRANCISCO FRB/TERESA CURRAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EINV EFIN ECON PINR TW
SUBJECT: Steve Chen Promoted to Economic Minister


1. On the afternoon of August 4, Premier Su Tseng-chang announced
that Economic Minister Hwang Ing-san (Morgan) had resigned due to
poor health and Vice Minister Chen Ruey-long (Steve) would be
promoted to Economic Minister. A brief bio of Mr. Chen is as
follows:

2. Steve Chen, 58, has been Vice Economic Minister for six years,
including Administrative Vice Minister for two years and Political
Vice Minister for four years. Prior to his promotion to Vice
Economic Minister in May 2000, Mr. Chen spent 25 years working with
the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), broken only by an interruption
for two years when he worked for a private company from 1981 to
1983. For 15 of his years at the BOFT, Mr. Chen focused on trade
consultations and international economic organizations.

3. Mr. Chen led all bilateral consultations with the 26 WTO members
requesting such negotiations prior to Taiwan's WTO accession. His
work to promote Taiwan's accession to WTO can be traced back to the
middle of the 1980's when he was appointed as Deputy Director of the
BOFT's Third Department, in charge of affairs in connection with
acceding to the GATT. In March 1987, Mr. Chen was sent to Zurich as
Director of Taiwan's Representative Office there to do a feasibility
study on accession to GATT. Subsequently, he served as Director of
Taiwan's Representative Office to Geneva on a concurrent basis. The
Geneva office was charged with bilateral and multilateral
consultations regarding Taiwan's accession to GATT/WTO after Taiwan
submitted its application for accession in 1989. Mr. Chen's efforts
during the period led to the acceptance of Taiwan as an OECD
observer in September 1992.

4. Mr. Chen was a protg of Premier Vincent Siew when the KMT was
a ruling party. In March 1983, then BOFT Director General Vincent
Siew recruited Mr. Chen from a private trading company to serve as
Mr. Siew's personal secretary. Prior his quitting BOFT in 1981, Mr.
Chen was posted for seven years at the Belgium Office of the Far
East Trade Service Inc., an unofficial agency under the BOFT's
control.

5. Mr. Chen, a native Taiwanese, earned his bachelor's degree in
economics from National Chunghsin University in 1970. He speaks
fluent English, French and German.

YOUNG

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