Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Soong hopes for ‘natural’ meeting with Xi at APEC

Reuters, TAIPEI

People First Party Chairman James Soong speaks at a news conference yesterday at the Executive Yuan in Taipei ahead of his trip to Vietnam as the nation’s envoy to the APEC summit.

Photo: CNA

Taiwan hopes to find a “natural way” to exchange views with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the APEC summit that is to start in Vietnam on Saturday, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday.

Speaking at a news conference at the Executive Yuan, Soong, who is to serve as envoy to the summit, said that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has privately and publicly said that Taiwan is willing to engage with China.

“We also need to say that both sides of the Taiwan Strait should have some constructive dialogue,” Soong said. “President Tsai has clearly told us to use a natural way with Xi Jinping at this APEC meeting to have the opportunity to exchange views.”

Soong has met Xi twice before and has visited China.

He referred to his past meetings with Xi and also Tsai’s reiteration that peace and sincerity should mark engagement by both sides.

“I will have the opportunity to express this view again to the other side,” Soong said.

China has not said if Xi plans to meet Soong.

Asked last week about the possibility of a Xi-Soong meeting, Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Baodong (李保東) would say only that China hopes Taiwan’s “activities” at APEC would accord with the grouping’s rules and not affect the summit.

Despite Taiwan’s lack of diplomatic recognition from the vast majority of nations, APEC allows Taiwan to participate as a separate economic, rather than political, entity.

In 2013, Xi told Taiwan’s envoy at an APEC summit in Indonesia that a political solution for Taiwan could not wait forever.

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