Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Xi meet to focus on APEC, bilateral trade only: Siew

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Former vice president Vincent Siew, left, briefs President Ma Ying-jeou on the upcoming APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bali, Indonesia, yesterday at the Presidential Office in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

Former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) yesterday said that he expected his planned meeting with Chinese President Xi Jin-pyng (習近平) at the APEC summit next week to focus on issues related to APEC and cross-strait economic ties.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) designated Siew to attend the summit in Indonesia on Monday and Tuesday next week, in line with the practice since the forum’s inception in 1993 that Taiwan has never sent its president to the summit, only representatives who act as envoys.

At a pre-departure press conference yesterday, Siew was cautious when answering questions about what his meeting with Xi would mean for cross-strait relations amid speculation that the inclusion of Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) in his entourage was to pave way for a future Ma-Xi meeting.

Wang is the first Taiwanese official not in charge of APEC-related affairs to attend an APEC event.

His participation in the delegation as an advisor on cross-strait issues has aroused suspicions that a planned meeting between Wang and China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) could be a harbinger of cross-strait political talks or a Ma-Xi meeting.

Siew told the press conference that he expects to discuss issues of economic and trade cross-strait cooperation and regional integration with the Chinese president.

Due to the limited time allotted for his meeting with Xi, Siew said he did not expect that issues unrelated to cross-strait matters and the APEC’s three-point agenda this year — attaining the Bogor Goals, sustainable growth with equity and promoting connectivity — would be raised.

Nevertheless, Siew said he is prepared to discuss other issues if they are brought up.

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