Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday discussed bilateral cooperation on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Summit in Bangkok.
Chang, who is Taiwan’s envoy at the summit, exchanged views with Kishida about the global situation and economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and Japan, a statement issued by Taiwan’s APEC delegation said.
Kishida expressed Japan’s intention to continue deepening its cooperation and exchanges with Taiwan, the statement said.
Chang conveyed Taiwan’s willingness and ability to meet the high standards of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and expressed hope that Japan would support its bid to join the trade bloc, it said.
On Sept. 22 last year, Taiwan applied to join the CPTPP, a Japan-led trade initiative representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade. Any new entry in the pact requires the unanimous support of the bloc’s 11 signatories — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday appeared to suggest that Canberra is unlikely to support Taipei’s bid to join the CPTPP.
Speaking to reporters at the summit, Albanese called the pact “a relationship between nation-states which are recognized,” while Taiwan is only represented at APEC as an economy, the Australian Broadcasting Corp reported.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Canberra later “clarified” to Taiwan that its stance on its bid remains unchanged and that it “welcomes all economic entities” that meet the bloc’s high standards.
However, the Australian government has not yet issued public statement to that effect.
Chang also thanked Japan for emphasizing the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait on multiple occasions, adding that Taiwan wishes to work with Tokyo and other like-minded nations to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan’s APEC delegation said.
Friday’s meeting came one day after Kishida held a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) at the summit.
Kishida told reporters that he “reiterated the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait” in that meeting.
Chang, 91, and his wife, Sophie Chang (張淑芬), also had what appeared to be an informal talk with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) on Friday.
Lee posted online that that the three met for the first time since they had tea together at the 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea.
“It’s good to see them in person again,” Lee said.
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