Taiwan will send ex-VP Siew to attend Apec in Manila, says Teco | Global News

Taiwan will send ex-VP Siew to attend Apec in Manila, says Teco

/ 12:24 AM November 14, 2015

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) in Manila on Friday clarified that Taiwan will be sending its former vice president as an established practice to attend the summit of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit of leaders in Manila.

In a statement, Taiwan’s presidential spokesperson Charles I-hsin Chen said President Ma Ying-jeor decided to ask former Vice President Vincent C. Siew to attend the summit as his representative.


“Former Vice President Siew is well-versed in economic and trade diplomacy, and multilateral trade negotiations. He has attended Apec meetings a total of six times as minister of economic affairs and presidential representative, and has built strong relationships with leaders of other Apec members,” a statement issued by the Teco said.


Taiwan customarily sends an appointed government official instead of its president to the Apec leaders’ summit due to China’s objections.

It became a member economy of Apec as Chinese Taipei in 1991. One criterion for membership is that a member should be a separate economy.

While the agenda of the Apec is purely economic in nature, Taiwan in an Apec briefer posted on its government website said there are times when politics interferes with its participation in Apec.

Taiwan’s rights as a member economy as well as the contributions it can make are sometimes limited because of political pressure from Beijing, its political rival, according to the 2003 article “Taiwan Rises to the Apec Challenge.”

In 1999 and 2002, Taiwan, for example, was not allowed to participate in Apec’s counter-terrorism meetings.

Also, it is not allowed to host the leaders’ nor the ministerial meetings.


Its former President Chen Shui-bian has been effectively shut out of the Apec Economic Leaders’ Meetings.

“The host country of the meeting will send an invitation to the president of the ROC, who is expected to follow the ‘established practice’ by sending a Cabinet minister or business leader on his behalf, instead of attending the meeting himself,” the article said.

According to Teco’s statement, Ma appointed the former vice president to represent her due his “expertise, background, experience, and connections.”

These, it said, will undoubtedly substantively enhance the nation’s influence in Asia Pacific.

Taiwan, an independent island nation, claimed by China to be a breakaway province.

Only 22 countries recognize Taiwan as a state. The Philippines, on the other hand, since 1975, has upheld a “One-China policy,” but maintained economic and cultural relations with Taiwan through Teco.


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TAGS: APEC, Apec 2015, Apec Summit, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Teco

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