Former vice president Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday he would not mention Nobel Peace Prize winning Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) when he meets China’s president at the APEC summit in Japan this weekend, in sharp contrast with growing international pressure calling for the Liu’s release.
Lien, who leaves tomorrow as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) special representative to the 2010 APEC economic leaders’ meeting in Yokohama, told reporters he would hold a formal meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤), but declined to give a date.
During a press conference at the Government Information Office, Lien was asked to outline what topics he planned to raise with Hu and whether he would use the meeting to express Taipei’s concerns for Liu and Taiwan’s position on human rights and democracy.
“I did not study the person [Liu], nor do I understand him well. Sorry, I can’t make any comment,” Lien said
He said he would not discuss recent remarks by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (溫家寶) on the possibility of Beijing removing the short-range ballistic missiles (SRBM) it aims at Taiwan.
“I am not authorized” to discuss this topic, he said.
Wen made the remarks in New York City after the UN General Assembly meeting in late September, raising speculation that Beijing might be prepared to disarm or relocate about 1,500 missiles it has aimed at Taiwan. There has been little evidence that Wen’s comments were in line with Beijing policy.
Asked if he would carry a message from Ma to Hu, Lien said if there were any such messages, he could not reveal their nature or content to reporters. However, his meeting with Hu would be an “appropriate” venue for discussions on economic matters, he said.
Lien also said he was not authorized to engage in discussions with Japanese diplomats about the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — which are governed by Japan and claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan.
This will be the third year Lien represents Ma at APEC.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER