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APEC most suitable occasion for Ma-Xi meet: minister

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said yesterday that he is not planning to bring up the topic of a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping (習近平) during his visit to mainland China, but that if the mainland authorities do bring up the topic, the MAC believes that APEC would be the most suitable occasion for such a meeting to take place.

The minister is scheduled to visit the mainland on Feb. 11.

APEC participants take part in the meetings as APEC members not state representatives, and they are uniformly referred to as “leaders,” which is consistent with the demand for equality regarding cross-strait interaction, Wang explained.

Regarding the upcoming visit, the minister said that the president only wished him success but did not give him any special instructions.

The purpose of the visit is simply to increase mutual understanding between the two sides of the strait, and to set up a mechanism for periodic communication between the MAC and its mainland Chinese counterpart, the Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO), Wang said.

If the leaders of the two sides of the strait can meet under an appropriate context at an appropriate time and location, the MAC would be happy to see such an event take place, the minister added.

The mainland Chinese authorities may bring up topics such as Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement follow-up talks, which cover cross-strait trade in goods and mechanisms devised to settle disputes, Wang said, adding that the MAC has prepared a set of responses to a range of issues.

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