Sun, Jul 24, 2005 - Page 1 News List

State Department frowns on Chen's APEC gambit


An official with the US State Department said on Friday that any change regarding Taiwan's representation at this year's APEC meeting would require agreement by other APEC members.

The official was responding to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) remarks earlier in the day that the APEC forum provided a platform for discussing regional economic cooperation and was an ideal occasion for the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to sit down and talk.

After receiving an invitation to attend this year's summit, slated for November in Pusan, from a special envoy sent by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun at the Presidential Office, Chen said he would tolerate the title "Chinese Taipei" being used for Taiwan if he attended the APEC summit.

Taiwan's presidents have not been able to participate in APEC leaders' summits in the past due to pressure from Beijing.

They have instead appointed a special envoy to represent the president.

The US State Department official said that in the past Taiwan has either sent an eminent private-sector representative or a senior economic leader.

He added that any change to this format would require the agreement of the members of APEC.

The official also said that Taiwan has been a valued participant since 1992 when it joined APEC along with China and Hong Kong.

"We look forward, as in the past, to Taiwan's participation in this year's APEC meeting at appropriately senior levels," the official said.

"As a matter of principle, the United States encourages contact between Beijing and the duly elected leaders of Taiwan," he added.

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