Sat, Nov 13, 2004 - Page 3 News List

APEC summit for trade and not politics, Lee says

FOCUS The APEC trade summit in Chile next week should not become a battleground for the cross-strait dispute, Academia Sinica President Lee said

By Wang Hsiao-wen  /  STAFF REPORTER

Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh tells a press conference yesterday that he is well prepared for attending the upcoming APEC summit in Chile, and that all the information he needs is in his head.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), Taiwan's top envoy to the APEC summit, said yesterday that he will not play the role of mediator in the cross-strait dispute nor forward any personal message from President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) during the two-day meeting next weekend.

"APEC is about economic cooperation, not a platform for mediators," Lee said at a press conference yesterday, hoping to ease political tension at the summit. "Taiwan should not be a starting point of a third world war," Lee said. "The nation has a lot to contribute to the world."

Referring to the nation's advan-ced information-technology sector and its ability to develop vaccines, Lee said that Taiwan can promote the well-being of people all over the world.

Lee's comment came amid growing concerns over the impending meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) and the re-elected US President George W. Bush at the APEC summit. The two are expected to fine-tune their Taiwan policies at the round of talks.

In response to worries over whether Taiwan's national interests will be compromised, Lee told reporters that Chen's resolution to pursue peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait remained unchanged.

Despite playing down expectations that the APEC summit will become a diplomatic battleground between Taiwan and China, Lee also said that he will remind Hu of Chen's recent gestures of goodwill.

At a meeting with the National Security Council on Wednesday, Chen laid out 10 points on arms control as a "code of conduct across the Taiwan Strait," which Chen first proposed at his National Day address last month.

At the 1993 bilateral meeting between Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Koo Chen-fu and China's chief cross-strait negotiator Wang Daohan (汪道涵), a conclusion was reached which stated that there was "one China, with each side having its own interpretation."

When Chen visited the ailing Koo on Friday morning, Chen pointed out that there has been no breakthrough in the cross-strait stalemate since the historic Koo-Wang meeting in Singapore. Chen hoped to reopen the gate to bilateral negotiation by holding a second Koo-Wang meeting, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday.

Lee also said he will express gratitude to Bush for the US' support for Taiwan's WHO bid.

"I will also talk to him about Taiwan's prospect of signing a [Free Trade Agreement] with the US," Lee added.

One of Taiwan's major goals at the APEC summit is to beef up trade ties with the US and Japan.

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