Sat, Nov 19, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Lin shakes hands with Hu at APEC

FRIENDLY GESTURE The Taiwanese representative to the Busan summit had a busy first day, including a discussion about security with Japan's prime minister

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

Taiwan's APEC representative, Lin Hsin-Yi, center, and his wife, right, yesterday ``accidentally'' meet Chinese President Hu Jintao, left, at an information-technology show being held in Busan, South Korea, on the sidelines of the APEC summit.

PHOTO: THE GOVERNMENT INFORMATION OFFICE

President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) envoy to the APEC summit, Lin Hsin-yi (林信義), yesterday had a friendly exchange with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), who referred to him as "Mr. Lin Hsin-yi from Taiwan."

Representatives of the 21 APEC economies yesterday convened at BEXCO, the main venue of the APEC forum, for the first day of the APEC summit. Lin greeted Hu on their way to the main meeting room, and they shook hands for about five seconds.

Lin greeted Hu again during an IT show on the sidelines of the summit. Later, at the official banquet, Hu introduced Lin to his wife as "Mr. Lin Hsin-yi from Taiwan," Lin told a press conference after the banquet.

Apart from the greetings, Lin said they did not touch on any other issues.

"The interaction was nothing more than natural," said Lin, an economic adviser to Chen.

Lin said he hopes to get the opportunity to discuss trade and investment issues with Hu during the APEC summit. Lin still has the chance to do so today, the last day of the summit.

During the official banquet yesterday, Lin gave a thumbs-up gesture to US President George W. Bush as he watched the US leader eat with chopsticks.

Lin said several bilateral meetings with leaders from other countries have been scheduled on the sidelines of the summit.

Some of these have already concluded, some are ongoing, and some are yet to be finalized, he said.

Sources said that Lin had a private meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi yesterday morning. Lin probed the possibility of Japan establishing a Taiwan Relations Act, similar to that of the US, in order to improve relations with Taipei.

His other major bilateral meeting will be with Bush, concerning the reopening of Japan's market to US beef imports and military procurement. Lin and Bush may meet today, sources said.

The talks with the US and Japan are said to be aimed at enhancing cooperation between the three parties in strengthening security. This is the first time that Taiwan has had the chance to meet face-to-face with the leaders of the US and Japan since the two countries identified peace in the Taiwan Strait as a "common strategic objective" in a joint statement made in February.

After the summit, Lin joined the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) meeting, in which he sat with Chinatrust Financial Holding Co chairman Jeffrey Koo (辜濂松), who is leading an 18-member delegation of industrialists.

Leaders from Russia, New Zealand and the Philippines were also at the same table.

Lin discussed Taiwan's energy policy at the ABAC meeting, saying that the nation should build up a sufficient oil inventory while developing sources of renewable energy as a main policy.

Taiwan's progress in protecting intellectual property rights also earned praise from other members, who asked Lin for advice on fighting piracy, he said.

Teco Group chairman Theodore Huang (黃茂雄) also attended the ABAC meeting. Huang said yesterday morning that he would like to talk with Hu about removing trade barriers between the two sides, such as tariffs on Taiwanese agricultural products, and an initiative like the free trade area of the Asia-Pacific that was proposed by ABAC members last year.

Huang said he would also discuss cooperation on energy exploration with Canada and Brunei.

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