Taiwan envoy interacts briefly with Xi at Apec summit

Taiwan’s envoy to the Apec summit, Dr Morris Chang (left), said he had met Chinese President Xi Jinping briefly in Bangkok. PHOTOS: REUTERS

BANGKOK - Taiwan’s envoy to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, Dr Morris Chang, interacted briefly with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the forum in Bangkok on Friday.

Dr Chang said on Saturday that he had met Mr Xi at the rest area while attending the two-day Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting. 

“He asked me how I was, and I congratulated him on the successful 20th Chinese Communist Party congress,” he said, referencing October’s event in Beijing where Mr Xi secured an unprecedented third term in office.

Dr Chang, 91, is the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of semiconductor chips, and is an influential figure. 

The interaction comes at a period when tensions between China and Taiwan have risen sharply. 

Beijing has long viewed the self-ruled island as part of its territory, and has vowed to eventually “unify” Taiwan with the mainland, using force if necessary. 

Dr Chang said Mr Xi told him that he remembers their meeting during the 2018 Apec summit in Papua New Guinea. “He asked if I was well, I told him that I went for a hip operation last year. And he told me that I look good,” said Dr Chang.  “It was a good interaction.” 

Dr Chang also had discussions with several Apec leaders, including Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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