Taipei, Aug. 26 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou
said Monday that conditions are not yet ripe for him to attend this year's leaders summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, with China
still the main obstacle. Ma was responding to a report in the Taipei-based China
Times based on unnamed sources that Taiwan's government has tentatively decided to have Ma attend the upcoming summit, scheduled for Oct. 7-8 in Bali, Indonesia, in person. After several months of negotiations, the paper said, diplomatic obstacles to Ma's attendance had largely been removed, and the matter was awaiting a final conclusion. Ma dismissed the speculation in an interview with cable news station TVBS. He said the reality of international politics was such that in the past, leaders of other countries would boycott international meetings if a Republic of China
(Taiwan) president were to attend. "Of course, now when we participate in events like inaugurations, that doesn't happen," Ma said, but the reality remains and it cannot be completely changed until certain conditions are created. The necessary conditions are not in place at present, he said, because "mainland China
is still very insistent (when it comes to) international events." Beijing habitually blocks Taiwan's president from attending the annual APEC summit of economic leaders and other gatherings, forcing Ma and his predecessors to designate a proxy on their behalf. The China
Times said that former Vice President Lien Chan, who has represented Ma at the annual APEC summit for the past five years, has not yet been asked to attend this year's meeting, fueling speculation of a change in strategy. Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li also dismissed the idea that Ma would attend the APEC leaders summit in person.
The government will inform the host country who will represent Ma at the annual summit when Indonesia's envoy delivers the invitation personally in Taipei in the near future, Li said. (By Kelven Huang and Sofia Wu)