TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 14 (UPI) -- Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian Monday appointed Chang Chun-hsiung as premier, praising his expertise on Taiwan-China issues.
Chen told reporters in Taipei he hoped Chang, 69, who served in the same post from 2000 to 2002, will help push for the completion of cross-strait talks on the opening of Taiwan to Chinese citizens for sightseeing visits and of direct cross-strait cargo charter flights at an early date, the Central News Agency reported.
Chang, who currently heads the Taiwan Straits Exchange Foundation that handles relations with China, will succeed Su Tseng-chang. Su resigned last week after losing his party's nomination to contest the 2008 presidential election.
Chen, whose presidential term ends next year, said Chang is an adroit politician capable of "turning even the worst situations around."
Chang repeated his 2000 principle of "calling for cooperation instead of confrontation and building homes instead of building walls."