Wed, Nov 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Soong’s APEC delegation arrives minus spokesman

Staff writer, with CNA, DA NANG, Vietnam

President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) special envoy to this weekend’s APEC leadership summit arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam, yesterday without a key member of his delegation because of visa problems.

Before departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport just before noon yesterday, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said he would “let the world see Taiwan’s efforts and sincerity” during his mission.

His delegation would help the world see that Taiwan is indispensable to global economic development, he said.

However, Soong arrived in Da Nang without the delegation spokesman and chief adviser, Minister Without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中), who heads the Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said Deng had yet to get a visa from Vietnam due to delays in Vietnamese administrative procedures, and the ministry was still trying to sort out the problem.

Soong is expected to meet privately with some of the APEC leaders during his stay in Da Nang, and it has been confirmed that he will hold bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday or Sunday, an aide to Soong said.

Soong is also hopeful of meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).

He said on Monday that Taiwan is keen to get along well with China and that peace and stability are desired by both sides, and the he would “once again express this view” if the opportunity to meet with Xi arises.

Taiwan’s presidents are unable to attend APEC summits due to China’s objections and have to appoint envoys in their place.

Tsai chose Soong to be her envoy for the second consecutive year.

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