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Vincent Siew to meet China vice premier in Boao Forum

Former Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) is set to meet with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli (張高麗) after arriving in Hainan Province on Friday afternoon to attend the 2017 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, according to sources closer to the matter.

Zhang is currently the principal Vice Premier in China as well as a member of the Politburo Standing Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.

Siew is attending the four-day forum, which kicked off on Thursday, as honorary chairman of the Taiwan-based Cross-Straits Common Market Foundation (CSCMF).

Sources said Siew will lead a delegation comprised of Taiwanese entrepreneurs, including HTC Corp. Chairwoman Cher Wang (王雪紅), to meet with Zhang at about 6 p.m. on Friday.

Chan Huo-sheng (詹火生), CSCMF chairman, will hold a press conference at around 7 p.m. to brief the press about the meeting between Siew and Zhang.

The local media cited Wang Ling-hui (王玲惠), a spokeswoman from Siew's office, as saying on Friday that the former vice president holds no government position and is attending the forum as head of the private CSCMF so he will not be conveying any message from President Tsai Ying-wen (蔡英文) or deal with any issues related to cross-strait ties for the government.

The Boao forum, modeled on the World Economic Forum held annually in Davos, Switzerland, also has a fixed venue in Hainan for China to invite leaders from governments, business and academic circles in Asia and other regions to exchange views on economic development.

China has held the annual forum since 2001 and Siew first attended the conference in 2008.

At previous forums, Siew met with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) twice, but no such arrangements have been made for the 2017 meeting as Xi is reportedly busy in preparation for a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled for April, and Li is currently on a visit to Australia and New Zealand.

The theme of the 2017 forum is Globalization and Free Trade; The Asian Perspectives.

Wang of HTC will attend a meeting on virtual reality development scheduled for 5 p.m. on Friday and discuss VR related technology topics with Chen Deming (陳德銘), chairman of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS).

HTC is a pioneer in the field of VR development in Taiwan, having unveiled its first VR headset the HTC Vive, which went on global sale in 2016.

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