Siew to represent Taiwan at APEC summit
CNATAIPEI -- Former Vice President Vincent Siew will attend the 2013 leaders' meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Indonesia on behalf of President Ma Ying-jeou, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li said yesterday.
September 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
The annual APEC summit will be held on the Indonesian resort island of Bali in early October. “President Ma has asked Siew to represent our country at the APEC leaders meeting,” Li said. Because of China's objections, Taiwan's president has been barred from attending the annual APEC summit in person and has had to appoint a proxy each year.
This year will be the first time since Ma became president in May 2008 that someone other than former Vice President Lien Chan will be representing him at the meeting.
There had been speculation that Ma was hoping to score a diplomatic breakthrough and attend this year's meeting himself, but he later said conditions were not yet ripe for that to happen, pointing to continued Chinese intransigence.
Li said the president expects Siew, who served as vice president during Ma's first four-year term, to brief the international community on the current state of Taiwan's economic and trade development and cross-Taiwan Strait relations.
He will also convey the government's determination to actively participate in regional economic and trade integration and talk about the advances that have already been made, Li said.
Taiwan has worked hard to stabilize and improve cross-strait relations through the signing of several agreements, including the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, and also taken significant strides in boosting economic ties with other trade partners, Li said.
They include the signing of an investment accord with Japan and a free trade agreement-like pact with New Zealand as well as resuming talks with the United States under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement.
“Siew is expected to brief APEC member economies of our advances on all of these fronts to facilitate our participation in regional economic integration,” she said.
Siew has attended APEC conferences four times as either Taiwan's economy minister or as presidential envoy, Li said, and he is well versed on economic and diplomatic issues and has good relationships with many foreign leaders, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
“With his professional expertise and extensive connections, Siew will be able to help expand our country's influence in Asia-Pacific's economic and trade development when he attends the upcoming APEC summit,” Li said.