Taiwan’s envoy to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit held a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday on the sidelines of the summit in Thailand to discuss bilateral cooperation.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), who is serving as Taiwan’s envoy for the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, exchanged views with Kishida about the current global situation and the economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and Japan, according to a press statement issued by Taiwan’s APEC delegation.
Kishida expressed Japan’s intention to continue deepening its cooperation and exchanges with Taiwan, the statement said.
As of press time, Japan had not issued any statements regarding the bilateral meeting.
Chang, meanwhile, conveyed Taiwan’s willingness and ability to abide by the high standards of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and expressed hope that Japan would support Taiwan’s bid to join the trans-Pacific trade bloc, the statement by Taiwan’s APEC delegation said.
On Sept. 22, 2021, Taiwan applied to join the CPTPP, a Japan-led trade bloc representing a market of 500 million people and accounting for 13.5 percent of global trade.
Any new entry in the CPTPP requires the unanimous support of the bloc’s 11 signatories — Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was reported as hinting on Friday at the APEC summit that his government is unlikely to support Taiwan’s CPTPP bid, indicating that the trade pact is only for “recognized” nation states.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs later said Canberra had “clarified” to Taiwan that its stance on the island’s CPTPP bid remains unchanged and that it “welcomes all economic entities” that meet the bloc’s high standards.
However, as of press time, the Australian government had issued no public statement to that effect.
Chang also thanked Japan for having underlined the importance of peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait on multiple international occasions, adding that Taiwan wishes to work with Tokyo and other like-minded nations to contribute to the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific region.
Friday’s meeting came just one day after Kishida held a bilateral meeting with China’s leader Xi Jinping (習近平) in Bangkok, on the sidelines of the APEC summit.
Kishida told reporters after the summit that he “reiterated the importance of peace and security in the Taiwan Strait” in that meeting.
The 91-year-old TSMC founder and his wife Sophie Chang (張淑芬) also had what appeared to be an informal talk with Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) on Friday.
According to Lee’s social media post, the three of them met for the first time since they last had tea together at the 2018 APEC summit in Papua New Guinea.
“It’s good to see them in person again,” Lee said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel