The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it is preparing for Taiwan’s participation at a virtual APEC summit, adding that the nation’s representative to the meeting would be announced by the Presidential Office.
Taiwan joined the 21-member APEC in 1991 under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Malaysia, this year’s chair for APEC meetings, has decided to hold the annual summit online on Dec. 4 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after postponing from the original date of Nov. 12, the Bangkok Post reported on Sept. 4.
The Chinese-language China Times yesterday reported that the government is making preparations and that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) might join the virtual summit.
Tsai in 2016 and 2017 appointed People First Party chairman and former presidential adviser James Soong (宋楚瑜) as Taiwan’s representative to the summits.
In 2018 and last year, she named Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), who is a consultant for the Executive Yuan’s Board of Science and Technology, as representative.
The Presidential Office would announce a representative at a proper moment, the ministry said yesterday, adding that it is still negotiating with other government agencies over matters related to the nation’s participation.
Taiwan is a formal member economy of APEC, and its practical participation and professional contributions have been lauded by other members, the ministry said.
Although the summit would be held virtually, the nation’s pertinent agencies are seeking to join the event, it said.
The nation would continue to work with other member economies, share its own experience in related issues and seek collaboration opportunities in a bid to advance the Asia-Pacific region’s development and prosperity, it said.
Asked if Tsai might attend the virtual summit, the Presidential Office said the ministry is making related arrangements and that the government would make an announcement once there is a definite plan.
This is the first time that APEC would hold its annual summit virtually since its founding in 1989, the ministry said, adding that many of its meetings in the second half of this year have switched to videoconferences due to the pandemic.
Different government representatives have attended or hosted 115 APEC-related events in physical or virtual forms, it said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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