Wed, Sep 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

President remains optimistic on Xi meeting at APEC

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) reiterated his hopes of meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at this year’s APEC leadership summit as he tried to dismiss Beijing’s concerns that his presence could jeopardize its “one China” principle during a recent interview with three European media outlets.

Ma gave a joint interview at the Presidential Office on Monday to Beijing-based correspondents for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), German newspaper Allgemeine Zeitung and French newspaper Le Figaro.

According to the DPA report, Ma said Beijing was afraid that the presence of the leaders of Taiwan and China at APEC would give the world the false impression that they have abandoned the “one China” principle.

“I don’t think it could be substantiated... I hope more favorable conditions can be created to make it happen,” Ma was quoted by DPA as saying.

Ma stressed that APEC was designed for economic leaders to meet without using their official titles, DPA said.

“The idea is to accommodate the participation by countries like us. And that’s why we consider that is a good opportunity for us to use that format for leaders of two sides to meet without generating other unnecessary sensitivities,” DPA quoted Ma as saying.

Ma said that his administration would continue its current policy toward China because his “one China, respective interpretations” push has received the support of more than 50 percent of the public, DPA said.

He also promised to increase communication with the public about his cross-strait policies, the report said.

The Ma administration has received a letter from China inviting Taiwan to the APEC leaders’ meeting on Nov. 10 and 11 in Beijing, but has withheld the protocol details, including how Ma was referred to in the letter.

Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦), who said on Monday that the letter was handed to him by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Deputy Director Gong Qinggai (龔清概) at the end of last month, said he “did not pay attention” to how Beijing addressed Ma in the letter.

In line with established APEC practices, Ma is likely to decline the invitation and appoint an envoy in his stead.

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) was also optimistic about a Ma-Xi meeting, telling lawmakers yesterday that until Ma appoints an envoy, there is still a chance for a meeting.

However, “the chances are slim,” he told Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) during a question-and-answer session.

China is reluctant to have the two meet at an “international event,” but “we still consider the most suitable occasion for a Ma-Xi meeting would be the APEC leaders’ summit,” Wang said. “We will continue in our efforts.”

Meanwhile, according to Beijing’s online media accreditation and registration system for the summit, reporters for Taiwanese media outlets are required to register under the category of “media from Chinese Taipei.”

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