Soong to meet more Southeast Asian leaders at APEC summit

Singapore PM publishes photo of meeting with Soong


People First Party Chairman (PFP) James Soong, in his capacity as Taiwan's representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Summit, was said to have had a private meeting with a leader from one of Southeast Asian nations and had talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, respectively, in the past two days.

According to the local media, the details and whom Soong has talked to will not be disclosed to avoid confrontations with Beijing and subsequently bigger political pressure and obstruction.

Taiwan has been rejected from participating in several major international conferences, from the the International Civil Aviation Organization to the Interpol annual assembly, as a result of pressure from China since the country's independence-leaning DPP party took the helm of the country last May.

The Chinese-language Liberty Times reported that the talks started with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday, and the next day Soong had a private meeting with a Southeast Asian country leader.

Soong is reportedly to initiate private meetings with more leaders from the region during the two-day Lima summit this weekend.

According to a person with knowledge of the matter, participating leaders would usually walk out of the meeting hall and have informal talks on the sidelines as previous practices.

The person continued to say that no arrangement has been made for Soong to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping so far.

Also, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived in the Peruvian capital of Lima on Friday. The local media reported that Soong is likely to meet Abe in private but will focus on economic issues rather than food safety ones.

Soong meets Lee Hsien Loong

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee posted a photo of him and Soong in a coffee room on his Facebook Friday evening. The photo shows Lee, Lee's wife Ho Ching, Soong, and Soong's daughter Angela having a coffee chat in Lima.

Lee Hung-Chun, a PFP official accompanying Soong, said that the two met each other in the 1980s when Lee was visiting Taiwan as a lieutenant and a friendship developed.

Separately, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Friday evening that Soong and John Kerry have agreed on an initiative to establish APEC Women and the Economy Sub-Fund, which is designed to support programs that help APEC economies to apply for funding to support new or existing APEC initiatives focused specifically on women's economic empowerment.