Taiwan envoy describes encounter with Chinese leader as natural and pleasant

The President of Taiwan received the Taiwanese delegation to APEC on Monday morning

Taiwan envoy to the APEC James Soong and President Tsai Ing-wen (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan envoy to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit James Soong (宋楚瑜) said in a news conference that he believed China had made a goodwill gesture to the Taiwanese delegation during the summit and acted like a "powerful nation."

After completing the mission to Da Nang, Vietnam for the APEC summit held between November 10 and 11, Soong and other Taiwanese delegates were received by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the Presidential Office on Monday morning.

Soong described his brief encounter with Chinese President Xi Jinping as "natural and pleasant." He said he felt there was a gesture of goodwill from China based on the fact that no one in the delegation had been denied entry to the APEC meetings.

The Central News Agency  reported that the Taiwan envoy and the Chinese leader greeted and shook hands after the APEC-ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting on November 10.

Taiwanese delegations have repeatedly faced interference when trying to participate in international organizations or events due to Chinese pressure. The most recent instance is that Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), minister of the Environmental Protection Administration, was denied entry to events related to the United Nations climate talks held in Bonn, Germany from November 6 to 17, according to CNA.

Referring to the revived talks and agreements on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) propelled by 11 member states last week, Tsai said now that regional leaders had returned to the table for talks on the pact, dialogue for economic and trade cooperation in the region would remain a common goal for countries of the region.

Tsai went on to say that Taiwan was determined to be part of the regional economic integration plan. The government will continue working on this goal and seize every opportunity to raise the country's visibility in the global economy.

Soong also urged the government to develop relations with China based on the principles of peace, prosperity, and partnership instead of bearing an attitude of exclusivity, after seeing that many countries had expressed interests in taking part in China's "One Belt and One Road Initiative," a development strategy proposed by Xi's administration in 2013.

In addition, Soong mentioned he had had a talk with U.S. President Donald Trump as well as meetings with southeast Asian countries that are not the APEC member states, such as Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia.