US OR CHINA MEETING? AIT Director Brent Christensen did not say whether the US vice president would meet with Morris Chang, but called him an ‘inspiring choice’
/ Staff writer, with CNA
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to do its best to have the nation’s representative meet with his US and Chinese counterparts at the APEC leaders’ summit next week, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu （吳釗燮） said yesterday.
“We will not rule out any possibility and will do our best to make it happen,” Wu told lawmakers when asked at a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee in Taipei to comment on the possibility of such meetings.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co founder Morris Chang （張忠謀） was named President Tsai Ing-wen’s （蔡英文） representative to the summit in Papua New Guinea that begins on Monday next week, and concludes with the leaders’ two-day meeting that begins on Saturday.
US Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping （習近平） are expected to attend the leaders’ summit.
Asked what Chang would discuss if he is able to arrange such meetings, Wu said that he would probably raise Taiwan-US trade and investment issues with Pence and extend a “goodwill gesture” to Xi, without elaborating.
Asked on Wednesday last week whether Chang would meet with Pence, American Institute in Taiwan （AIT） Director Brent Christensen did not give a direct answer.
“We anticipate that he [Chang] will, in fact, as is always the case, interact with other leaders at the summit, but at this point we don’t have specific information about how that might happen,” Christensen said.
He also praised the selection of Chang as an “inspiring choice.”
“He represents everything that is good about Taiwan, a really outstanding and very prominent figure in Taiwan society,” he said.
Chang is to depart for the leaders’ summit on Friday next week, the ministry said.
He would also take part in the APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue in Port Moresby on Saturday, which is to include representatives from Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Chang is also to attend the APEC dinner banquet on Saturday, Sunday’s closing ceremony and pay other informal visits before his scheduled return to Taiwan on Nov. 19.
Tsai last month picked Chang as Taiwan’s representative, praising him as the best choice to represent the nation at the summit.
Despite being a full member of the 21-member forum since 1991, Taiwan’s presidents are traditionally prohibited from attending the summit due to Chinese opposition.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu yesterday talks to reporters in Taipei ahead of a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee. Photo: Lu Yi-hsuen, Taipei Times