Unable to attend in person, Taiwan’s president sends Zhang Zhongmou to participate in APEC leaders’ summit again

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen announced Tuesday (Nov. 10) the sending of TSMC founder Zhang Zhongmou to participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (ELM), which will be held by videoconference on Nov. 20, marking the fourth time that Zhang has served as Taiwan’s APEC representative.

This will be the fourth time that Chang will be Taiwan’s representative to APEC,” Tsai said, adding that she hopes to leverage Chang’s experience as a leader to convey Taiwan’s contributions to regional development and advice on future planning to all APEC members at this critical time of global supply chain restructuring. This is the third time during President Tsai’s term of office that Mr. Chang has served as a delegate to the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting (ELC).

This year’s Economic Leaders Meeting will focus on how to promote common global epidemic prevention, deepen economic growth through sustainable innovation, and the post-APEC Vision 2020. Tsai said she hopes Chang and the delegation will accomplish two tasks: to convey the message that Taiwan is willing to contribute more to epidemic prevention and to solidify Taiwan’s key position in the global supply chain.

“Epidemic prevention is a global issue and no one country can stay out of it. All members of the international community must work together, regardless of their differences, to face the challenge.” Tsai said Taiwan has already engaged in many donations and cooperative exchanges of epidemic prevention materials with various countries and hopes to work with them to build a resilient medical public health system in the Asia-Pacific region.

Chang said Taiwan has done a very good job of controlling the epidemic and making full use of digital technology, and in a world where post-epidemic digital technology is very influential, Taiwan can also share these experiences with APEC countries.

“In the face of the moment of global supply chain restructuring, we need to be able to expand the international linkages upstream, midstream and downstream of the supply chain, and also allow Taiwan to contribute to the quality growth of the Asia-Pacific region together by contributing to the strength of the high-tech industry.” Not only does Tsai hope to use this opportunity to consolidate Taiwan’s position in the global supply chain, she also stressed that Taiwan should continue to seek to sign bilateral and multilateral economic and trade cooperation agreements with various countries to deepen its participation in APEC.

Taiwan’s representatives at this year’s annual APEC ministerial meeting include Deng Zhenzhong, general negotiator of the Executive Yuan’s Office of Economic and Trade Negotiations, and Gong Mingxin, director of the National Development Council.

Taiwan’s Executive Yuan Councillor Tang Feng was also invited by Malaysian companies to participate in an online dialogue with business leaders, which will explain how Taiwan can improve its economic resilience and accelerate recovery from the epidemic through open government, social innovation, and digital technology.

As of Nov. 9, there were only 578 confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia in Taiwan, including seven deaths. Since April 13, Taiwan has been without an indigenous case for more than 200 days.

Affected by the neo-crown epidemic, Malaysia, the host country of APEC this year, is planning to hold its annual summit via videoconference for the first time since APEC was established in 1989.

Taiwan joined APEC as a full member in 1991 under the name of Chinese Taipei, but due to China’s opposition, Taiwan’s president could only designate a leader to attend the APEC summit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said earlier that “Chinese Taipei” is participating in APEC as a “regional economy” under the one-China principle and must abide by the organization’s memorandum of understanding and practices. He also stressed that China’s position was very clear and firm, that no one should have any illusions, and that it would be futile for the Taiwan authorities to try to take advantage of the situation to make a breakthrough.