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Cablegate: New Senior Financial Officials

VZCZCXRO1426
RR RUEHGH
DE RUEHIN #2783 2280623
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160623Z AUG 06
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1623
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3377
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5538
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8015
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6572
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 7934
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 9777
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 3907
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 3544
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 3112
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 4283
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1541
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6751
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0312
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 9492

UNCLAS TAIPEI 002783

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: New Senior Financial Officials
REF: TAIPEI 2634

1. Summary: In early August, three new ministerial-level officials
were inaugurated: Economic Minister Chen Ruey-long (Steve),
Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) Chairman Shih Jun-jih, and
Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE) Chairman Chen Shu (Gordon). Steve Chen
replaced Hwang Ing-san (reftel). Shih Jun-jih will serve the
remaining term of office (until June 2008) of former FSC Chairman
Kong Jaw-sheng who was indicted for corruption in May. Gordon Chen
replaced Wu Nai-jen, who has been the TSE Chairman over the past two
years. Reftel contains a brief bio for Steve Chen. Bios for FSC
Chairman Shih Jun-jih and TSE Chairman Gorden Chen follow. End
Summary.

FSC Chairman: Shih Jun-jih
--------------------------

2. Shih, 51, was promoted to Chairman of the Financial Supervisory
Commission (FSC) just one month after he was appointed as a FSC
commissioner in July 2006. Shih has little working experience in
the financial sector but has the strong support of Premier Su
Tseng-chang. He was an economic advisor to Su Tseng-chang when Su

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was Chairman of the ruling DPP Party from February to December 2005.
Their relationship was such that Shih earned the title of Su's
"private tutor" in economics. Shih's only financial experience is
as board director of both the state-owned Central Trust of China and
the private Taipei Bank. Since earning a Ph.D. in Economics from
National Taiwan University in the mid-1980s, Shih has been teaching
economics, with a short interruption from 1998 to 2001 when he
served as a commissioner of the Fair Trade Commission. In 2005,
Shih was nominated as a commissioner to the National Communications
Commission (NCC), but his nomination was rejected by the
opposition-controlled Legislative Yuan.

TSE Chairman: Chen Shu (Gorden)

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--------------------------------

3. Prior to his current appointment, Gordon Chen, 52, served as
Vice Minister of Finance for four and a half years. Chen's career
has been closely linked to securities issues, except for the past
two years when the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) in July
2004 took securities supervision away from the Ministry of Finance.
During the three-year period before he was promoted to Vice Finance
Minister in 2002, Chen was Director of the Executive Yuan's (EY)
Fourth Department, taking care of public finance and the financial
sector, including the securities market. He was Vice Chairman of
Taiwan's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) (the predecessor of
the Securities and Futures Bureau) for three years (1992-1995) and
SFC Chairman for one year and three months (February 1995 - May
1996). He was removed as SFC Chairman because he spoke to media
without authorization about a plan to extend the stock trading
times. However, he staged a comeback in 1998 when then Premier
Vincent Siew (under the KMT administration) appointed him as
Director of the EY Secretariat and subsequently promoted him to
Director of the EY's Fourth Department in January 1999. Chen joined
the SFC in 1979 after earning an MA in Public Finance from National
Chengchi University. He earned a Ph. D. in Accounting Science from
National Taiwan University in 1996. Chen, a devoted Buddhist, is
cautious, careful and conservative.

YOUNG

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