Tsai eyes China interaction at APEC

REGIONAL SUMMIT::The delegation is to reaffirm Taiwan’s support for and dedication to free trade, as well as the sustained development of the region, the president said

By Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 1

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said her administration is willing to work with China at next month’s APEC summit.

Tsai made the remarks at a news conference at the Presidential Office with People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), whom she named the nation’s chief delegate to the summit.

The nation’s APEC delegation would conduct exchanges with foreign leaders and heads of state to further Taiwan’s economic relations with its trade partners, Tsai said.

“We are also willing to interact with China on the basis of goodwill under the APEC framework,” she said.

This year’s APEC summit is scheduled on Nov. 11 to Nov. 12 in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Soong was also the nation’s chief delegate at last year’s APEC summit in Peru.

The delegation must actively engage in the summit agenda of “creating new dynamism and fostering a shared future,” Tsai said.

The delegation is to reaffirm Taiwan’s support for and dedication to free trade, and the sustained development of the region, she said.

The nation should work to provide advanced education, food security, sustained growth and employment in the information technology sector in the region, Tsai said.

The delegation is to promote the government’s New Southbound Policy and highlight the contributions Taiwan has already made to the region, she said.

“I hope the delegates will accomplish this mission by taking advantage of the meeting with economic leaders, associated activities, bilateral meetings and all such opportunities,” she said.

The delegation is to include members from the private sector, the government and academia, Tsai said.

“I hope the members of the delegation will work together and use their expertise on pertinent issues so as to assist Soong in his interactions with foreign representatives. We must work harder at APEC to build long-term and trusted ties with other nations,” Tsai said.

Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) would be the delegation’s chief adviser and spokesman, she said.

Other delegates included National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), National Security Council adviser Lin Liang-jung (林良蓉) and Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴).

Soong said he was grateful for the president’s trust to again select him as chief delegate.

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said Soong is a good choice because of his familiarity with the political situation at home and abroad.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said he approved of Soong’s appointment, which might help reduce cross-strait tensions.

However, New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said he had wanted Tsai to choose an individual who is more representative of Taiwanese.

“[Soong] puts too much emphasis on his personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平),” Hsu said.