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Taiwan still pushing for Ma's attendance at APEC: official
Central News Agency
2013-12-25 10:45 PM
Taipei, Dec. 25 (CNA) Taiwan is pushing for President Ma Ying-jeou to attend the 2014 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in China, the top official in charge of China affairs said Wednesday, despite apparent opposition to the plan by authorities in Beijing. Speaking at a meeting of the Kuomintang (KMT) Central Standing Committee, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Wang Yu-chi said the government's stance has been consistent in pulling for a meeting between Ma, who chairs the KMT, and Chinese President Xi Jinping at "an appropriate time and place" under "appropriate" titles. The government's apparent determination comes despite a statement from China's Taiwan Affairs Office in October that indicated any meeting of top leaders from Taiwan and China would "not be held through any international venue," according to an Oct. 17 report from Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post. Regardless, Wang said Taiwan will continue to rally for the president's attendance at APEC, a position that the previous administrations of former Presidents Chen Shui-bian and Lee Teng-hui also held. Taiwan's president has never been allowed to attend the annual APEC summit and appoints a proxy instead. If Ma attended the forum to be held in China, it would also mark the first time a Republic of China (Taiwan) president has set foot on the Chinese mainland in over 60 years. In a press release from the Presidential Office late Wednesday, Ma was quoted as having told the media that a meeting with Xi at the APEC summit has been ruled out after the Taiwan Affairs Office expressed opposition to such a meeting. (By Lee Shu-hua, Wang Ching-Yi and Y.L. Kao)
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