Lai appointed Taiwan's new executive head

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William Lai Ching-te, mayor of Tainan, has been appointed Taiwan’s new executive head, the office of Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s current leader, announced yesterday.
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William Lai Ching-te, mayor of Tainan, has been appointed Taiwan’s new executive head, the office of Tsai Ing-wen, the island’s current leader, announced yesterday.

Tsai named Lai to head up the government following the resignation of Lin Chuan.

Lin, former head of the island’s executive authority, announced his resignation on Monday.

Due to Lin’s resignation, the entire executive body is scheduled to resign tomorrow, and Lai will take office on Friday.

A reshuffle to replace Lin had been anticipated for months with Tsai’s approval ratings dropping below 30 percent by August, a private foundation survey showed.

Lai, a 57-year-old Harvard-educated doctor, served in the legislature for 11 years before, in 2010, becoming mayor of Tainan, home to the plants of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and other technology firms.

“I’ll redouble our efforts to reform and transform, for the benefit of the people of Taiwan,” Lai said yesterday.

The Chinese mainland cut off all contacts with Tsai’s government more than a year ago as she refused to admit that Taiwan is Chinese territory.

Lai suggested earlier in the year seeking common ground with the Chinese mainland, according to local media reports.

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