Fri, Nov 26, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Lee Yuan-tseh lauds Hu as friendly


Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲) said yesterday he felt that Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) was "friendlier than Taiwanese reporters" to him during the just-concluded informal leadership meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Santiago, Chile.

Lee made the remarks at a news conference held after briefing President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) on the results of the annual APEC summit meeting and his personal feelings about the event.

Prior to his departure for the Chilean capital, Lee said he had repeatedly reminded local journalists that APEC is basically a multilateral economic cooperation forum, not an avenue for political wrangling or diplomatic maneuvering.

"However, since my arrival in Santiago, many Taiwanese reporters relentlessly questioned me about my interaction with Hu. Some reporters' attitudes were rude. In the end, I told them that in fact, I felt Hu's attitude toward me was friendlier than theirs," Lee recalled.

This was the third consecutive year that Lee has served as Chen's proxy at the annual APEC summit meeting.

Lee said he hopes that the two sides of the Taiwan Strait can talk after Taiwan's Dec. 11 legislative elections to mend their differences. Cross-strait peace and stability are not only critical to Taiwan and China but also important to the world as a whole, he added.

Moreover, Lee said he looks forward to seeing Chen attend the 2005 APEC summit in person.

"Chen's attendance is of great significance as it will symbolize progress in cross-strait relations," Lee said.

Because of Beijing's opposition, Taiwan's head of state cannot attend the annual APEC summit in person and has to name a proxy to attend on his behalf.

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