Taiwan elected its new minister for China affairs on Monday, according to state authorities. The previous chief had announced his resignation last week after accusing another official of espionage.
Andrew Hsia, military official and former deputy foreign minister, on Monday became the chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, which handles relations between Taipei and Beijing. He succeeded Wang Yu-Chi, who had previously accused a council member, Chang Hsien-Yao, of leaking confidential documents to the Chinese government.
Chang denied the allegations, and prosecutors dropped the investigation against him saying there was a lack of evidence. Wang subsequently resigned.
"Hsia has extensive administrative experience and policy-implementation capabilities," a statement on the website of Taiwan's executive branch said. "He will continue to promote the development of cross-strait relations."
Cross-strait relations between the two powers continue to increase, Channel News Asia reported. Business ties are at their strongest in 60 years, due to the pro-trade policies of Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou.
However, recent moves by Beijing have left Taiwan concerned. Last month, China unilaterally announced it would open four new flight routes over the straits between them, a move Taipei decried as “unacceptable.”
The Taiwanese public, too, has been growing increasingly resentful, as a proposed free-trade agreement led to protests culminating in weeks of occupation of Taiwan’s parliamentary building in 2014.
Ma’s Kuomintang party also faced a poor showing in 2014 elections, reflecting a growing divide between the party and the people of Taiwan, The Diplomat reported.