Opposition People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) departed Tuesday at the head of a delegation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting to be held Nov. 19-20 in Lima, Peru.
Soong, who is serving as President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) envoy to the APEC summit, said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport that the trip is a big challenge and entails great responsibility for him.
Soong said that since Tsai took office in May, he has several times exchanged views with her and that he could realize Tsai hopes to highlight Taiwan’s values.
These values include the country’s development direction: neither overly expanding into the world nor becoming isolated from the world, and striking a balance between urban and rural areas.
Soong has previously said he hopes to interact “naturally” with the Chinese delegation at the gathering.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is expected to attend the summit and Soong has said he hopes to meet with him.
According to Soong, from the time he was appointed as the president’s envoy, he has clearly stated that he has not been authorized to represent Taiwan in cross-strait negotiations on political issues with Chinese leaders.
The Taiwanese delegation also includes Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光), National Development Council Minister Chen Tain-jy (陳添枝) and People First Party legislative caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞).
Soong’s current trip is aimed at letting Taiwan’s small and medium-sized enterprises connect with business partners around the world, to help them continue developing and deepening economic and trade relations with APEC’s 20 other members, and to show the world Taiwan’s economic momentum, according to Lee Hung-chun.
Chen and Lee Chih-kung are set to attend this year’s APEC ministerial meeting Nov. 17-18.
The meeting will be held under the theme of “Quality Growth and Human Development,” and will focus on the following APEC 2016 priorities: advancing regional economic integration, enhancing regional food markets, working on the modernization of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, and developing human capital.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel