Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's top strategist King Pu-tsung resigns

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (left) meets with family members of a passenger who died in a TransAsia Airways plane crash, at a funeral parlor in Taipei Feb 5, 2015. Ma's top strategist King Pu-tsung has resigned from his post as National Security Co
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (left) meets with family members of a passenger who died in a TransAsia Airways plane crash, at a funeral parlor in Taipei Feb 5, 2015. Ma's top strategist King Pu-tsung has resigned from his post as National Security Council chief, the president's office announced on Friday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TAIPEI - Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou's top strategist King Pu-tsung has resigned from his post as National Security Council chief, the president's office announced on Friday.

King resigned over health and family considerations, the office said according to Central News Agency. Former defence minister Kao Hua-chu will replace King, the announcement said.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Timothy Yang, a former foreign minister, has also resigned from his post, and will be succeeded by former Legislative Yuan Vice-Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan, the report said.

The 64-year-old Ma, who took power in 2008, had resigned as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) over the party's municipal electione defeat in November, seen as a public backlash over warming ties with China, a stuttering economy and a string of food safety scandals.

The elections were seen as a key barometer ahead of the 2016 presidential race.

Ma was succeeded by Eric Chu, the only KMT politician who won in Taiwan's six large municipalities to maintain his position as New Taipei mayor.