Taipei, The Presidential Office on Monday dismissed a newspaper report that former Premier Lin Chuan (??) will replace People First Party Chairman James Soong (???) as head of Taiwan's delegation to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in November.
The report's information regarding this issue was fabricated and Taiwan's plan to form a delegation to the APEC summit will be made public after it has been finalized, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (???) said.
APEC is one of the most important official multilateral economic cooperation forums in which Taiwan participates. Soong, who has served as Taiwan's envoy to the summit over the past two years, has made great contributions to bolstering awareness of Taiwan's development in the forum and President Tsai Ing-wen (???) was grateful for his efforts, Huang said.
The 2018 APEC leaders' meeting is slated for November in Papua New Guinea and the plan on appointing a representative to lead Taiwan's delegation to the forum has yet to be hammered out, according to Huang.
Huang was responding to a China Times report which cited a Chinese official in charge of Taiwan affairs as saying that Taiwan's government was dissatisfied with Soong's performance and was planning on naming its preferred candidate to the APEC summit, but the official said that the pick could be rejected by China due to his unwillingness to recognize the 1992 consensus.
The consensus is a tacit agreement reached between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait in 1992, when Taiwan was ruled by a Kuomintang-led government, that there is only one China with each side free to interpret what that means.
Huang said that Taiwan, as one of APEC's 21 member economies, has the same rights as all the other members to participate in the APEC summit meeting, regardless of whether others approve or not.
Commenting on the report, Soong said on Monday he would respect Tsai's decision and offer good wishes to anyone appointed to serve as Tsai's envoy to the APEC.
APEC meetings have traditionally offered an opportunity for senior officials from Taiwan and China to meet because the group categorizes Taiwan as a member economy, not a nation.
Although Taiwan is allowed to participate in APEC, its president is not allowed to attend the meetings in person and instead can only send somebody else in his or her place.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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