Sat, Nov 04, 2006 - Page 12 News List

Academics issue call for more active APEC participation

BIGGER ROLE Because the organization is the only one in which the nation plays a full part, it should get more involved in the body's activities

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The government, media and people of Taiwan should be more active in participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum at all levels, professors said in a seminar focused on Taiwan's APEC participation yesterday.

The nation should maximize its expertise in fields such as public health safety and information and communications technology to make Taiwan an agenda-setter in APEC, said Lin Cheng-yi (林正義), a professor at National Chengchi University. Lin made his remarks two weeks before the annual APEC Summit, which will be held in Vietnam from Nov. 12 until Nov. 20.

Local government involvement in APEC activities could also be increased, said Wu Fu-sheng (吳福成), deputy director of the Department of International Affairs of the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research.

Russia, which will host the APEC summit in 2012, is a good example for Taiwan, Wu said. Russia has been inviting local government officials to its APEC delegations since 1998, he noted.

Taiwan's media and the general public should also pay attention to more than just the special envoy appointed by the president because "APEC meetings mean more than that to Taiwan, " Lin said.

"Most people don't realize that APEC is the only international organization in which Taiwan has full membership, " he claimed.

"In fact, APEC is the only multilateral platform for Taiwan in the international community, " said Michael Hsiao (蕭新煌), executive director of Academia Sinica's Center for Asia-Pacific Studies.

Taiwan's APEC participation should "emphasize the essence instead of the appearance," Hsiao said.

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