Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Envoy to APEC meet to tout Taiwan's political savvy

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday that he would highlight Taiwan's democracy and its people's unflagging diligence amid the recent political disturbances, if asked about the nation's political situation when he attends the APEC summit in Vietnam.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) asked the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co chairman to serve as his envoy to this year's APEC summit.

At a press conference held by the Government Information Office to publicize Taiwan's goals for this year's APEC meetings, Chang said he would take advantage of opportunities to exchange ideas and opinions with other leaders.

"And if the leaders of APEC's member states ask me about Taiwan's current political situation, I will highlight the virtues of the people of Taiwan and the advantages of Taiwan's democracy," he said.

"Taiwan has an independent judiciary system and reasonable citizens. Although tens of thousands of people took to the streets to voice their opinions, no violence occurred," he said.

"Compared to other democratic and advanced countries, we don't have to feel ashamed about it," Chang said.

"The Taiwanese are still working diligently under such political conditions and our stock index has still gone up by 10 percent compared with the beginning of this year. These facts all demonstrate the endurance and perseverance of the people of Taiwan," he said.

This year's APEC meeting opens in Hanoi tomorrow. The APEC Leaders' Summit is scheduled for next Saturday and Sunday.

When asked what he thought of former Academia Sinica president Lee Yuan-tseh's (李遠哲) open letter asking the president to consider resignation, Chang said he was a person without any political hue and would not comment on politics at any time, including at the APEC meetings.

Lee has served as Chen's envoy to previous APEC summits.

Speaking of his potential interactions with China's president at the APEC venue, Chang said he would not intentionally look for opportunities to approach certain people.

"I will interact with these people naturally. That is based on the principle of dignity," he said.

Chang stressed that he would not promote the interests of his company at the summit.

Minister of Economic Affairs Steve Chen (陳瑞隆) told the press conference that Taiwan would fully support the regional trade agreements, free-trade agreements and the free-trade area of the Asia-Pacific at the Vietnam meetings and help facilitate the restoration of the WTO's Doha development agenda.

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