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APEC still best for Ma-Xi meeting: ROC official

TAIPEI -- The best venue for a meeting between Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou and China's President Xi Jinping (習近平) would be the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, a Taiwanese official reiterated Wednesday at a meeting with foreign diplomats based in Taiwan.

“We still think that APEC is the best place for us,” said Lin Chu-chia (林祖嘉), deputy head of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會). The council is Taiwan's top planner of China policy.

If Ma could go to APEC, it would be good for Taiwan, because “we always want our leader or president to go to APEC,” Lin said in response to questions on a potential Ma-Xi meeting from Frederic Laplanche, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan.

Laplanche was among some 60 foreign officials from more than 50 countries stationed in Taiwan who attended a briefing organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The event was to brief foreign officials on the first meeting between MAC head Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) and his Chinese counterpart Zhang Zhijun (張志軍), head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO, 國台辦), and the 10th round of talks between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF, 海基會) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS, 海協會).

Lin said Taiwan has proposed that a Ma-Xi meeting take place at this year's APEC leaders' summit in Beijing, but China has seemingly been reluctant to accept the idea.

Asked about the possibility of holding the Ma-Xi meeting in a third territory, Lin stressed that Taiwan still believed that APEC would be the best venue for the encounter.

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Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) addresses the press in this file photo. Zhang openly stated yesterday that he doesn't believe that APEC would be the optimum occasion for any cross-strait related discussions. (CNA)

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