Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Soong-Xi engagement at APEC summit in Lima

Taiwan at APEC welcomes cross-strait interaction

Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) The government welcomes interaction between representatives of Taiwan and China at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' meeting, a Presidential Office official said Sunday.

Opposition People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who represented President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the 2016 APEC summit in the Peru capital of Lima the previous day, had a brief meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) there, during which Soong expressed hope for continued trade and economic exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Commenting on the Soong-Xi meeting, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said it is very natural for representatives of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait to talk and exchange opinions with each other, and that the Presidential Office welcomes such interaction.

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Soong and Xi talk ties, trade in brief exchange

R.O.C. envoy James Soong (宋楚瑜) had "natural and friendly interaction" with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in Peru, a Taiwan delegation member said Sunday.

Soong and Xi discussed the cross-strait economy and trade issues during a brief exchange before the APEC Business Advisory Council Dialogue, said lawmaker Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), an adviser in Taiwan's APEC delegation.

After exchanging pleasantries, Soong said Taiwan hoped China would reaffirm its pledge to look out for Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises, Lee said.

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Taipei glad to see Soong-Xi meeting at APEC

The Mainland Affairs Council said on Sunday that it was glad to see the representatives of Taipei and Beijing respecting each other and having friendly interaction at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Lima, Peru.

It said the meeting will be helpful for the harmonious development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations.

The Presidential Office also said earlier that day that it welcomes the interaction between the delegations from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

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APEC Summit: Soong engages China’s Xi at APEC summit in Lima
Taiwan’s envoy James Soong, second left, talks to another delegate at the APEC summit in Lima, Peru, on Saturday as Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo courtesy of the Chinese Taipei APEC delegation

APEC special envoy People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) talked with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for 10 minutes about cross-strait trade and economic issues in Lima, Peru, on Saturday, a member of Taiwan’s delegation said.

PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that Soong took advantage of a delay of the APEC Business Advisory Council meeting to engage in talks with several leaders, including Xi, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Lee said Soong’s talk with Xi occurred naturally following their encounter at the venue, adding that they shook hands and sat to discuss policy issues, with Soong expressing the hope that China will resume cross-strait economic exchanges, especially those that benefit Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Soong-Xi meet shows cross-strait ties 'not so bad': scholar

The brief meeting between Taiwan's representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Lima, Peru,shows that both Beijing and Taipei hope to deal with each other calmly and rationally and that cross-strait relations are "not so bad," a Chinese scholar said Sunday.

The brief meeting between Soong and Xi also indicated but that cross-Taiwan Strait relations are worse than they were during the administration of former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), said Liu Guosheng (劉國深), head of the Taiwan Research Institute at Xiamen University

Soong, who represents President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in the leaders summit of the regional economic group, held a brief meeting with Xi before they participated in dialogue between APEC economic leaders and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) on Saturday in the Peruvian capital.

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Soong-Xi meet touches on cross-Taiwan Strait business exchanges

Taiwan's representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit, James Soong (宋楚瑜), has met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), to whom he expressed hope for continued trade and economic exchanges between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, an adviser on Taiwan's APEC delegation said Saturday.

The meeting occurred without pre-arrangement, Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) told the press. He said Soong and Xi interacted with each other in "a natural and friendly atmosphere" before they participated in dialogue between APEC economic leaders and the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) earlier in the day.

The content of the conversation between Soong and Xi was mainly greetings until Soong brought up his hope for the Chinese authorities to "keep unchanged the direction of cross-strait trade and economic exchanges" and "particularly of care for Taiwanese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)," Lee said.

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Soong-Xi meet touches on cross-Taiwan Strait business exchanges
James Soong (second left), Xi Jinping (right)

The two sides agreed to release a statement of the meeting, which lasted for more than 10 minutes, Lee added.

Asked if President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) knew about the meeting, Lee said it happened informally. "As a matter of course we will report the matter to the president on Nov. 24," he said.

Soong's meeting with Xi on the APEC occasion had been highly anticipated in Taiwan after the People First Party (PFP) chairman was appointed by Tsai to attend the 2016 APEC summit on her behalf.

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Pres. Office welcomes Soong-Xi meeting

The Presidential Office says it welcomes Saturday’s meeting between Taiwan’s APEC envoy James Soong and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Soong and Xi held their meeting during 2016 APEC summit in Lima, Peru.

Soong, the leader of the opposition People First Party, was at the summit on behalf of President Tsai Ing-wen. Taiwan’s presidents are unable to attend APEC events due to pressure from Beijing.

Taiwan’s Central News Agency reports that Soong expressed hopes for continued cross-strait trade and economic exchanges during the meeting.

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The Historic Ma-Xi Summit

MEDIA across the world had kept their eyes fixated upon the Xi-Ma meeting long before it took place on Nov 7 in Singapore.

BBC News was one of many other media outlets that put together a list of questions both President Ma Ying-jeou and President Xi Jinping might raise when they met. Others – from ST in Singapore to Philstar in the Philippines to New York Times (NYT) – used this opportunity to give their readers some cultural education behind the much-awaited handshake between both leaders through historical timelines illustrating the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan.

And when the historic handshake finally took place, the news rang out across global news channels. ST and The New Paper went straight into reporting how the meeting dwelt on several key discussion points. Several other news channels took a similarly neutral stance in reporting, describing the meeting as a historic handshake between the leaders of China and Taiwan – the first in nearly seven decades as reported in The Guardian. Sky News (Australia), The Wall Street Journal and Macau Daily Times.

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