Taiwan to send retired TSMC chairman to APEC summit: reports

Morris Chang already represented Taiwan at APEC in 2006

TSMC founder Morris Chang.

TSMC founder Morris Chang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan is likely to send one of its highest-profile business leaders, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀), to represent President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) at the November Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Papua New Guinea, reports said Saturday.

Chang, 87, already represented Taiwan at an APEC summit in 2006. Pressure from China prevents Taiwanese presidents from attending the annual event, leading to the selection of a prominent businessperson, politician or retired official.

Over the past two years, People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) represented Taiwan, but he let it be known last July that he would not be attending this year’s event, scheduled for November 12-18.

According to the Apple Daily, the Presidential Office has asked Chang to perform the task this year, and the official announcement will be made soon.

TSMC is the world’s leading contract chipmaker, and Chang retired as chairman just last June.

China will be unable to find an excuse to turn down his selection, the Apple Daily reported. In contrast, another prominent candidate, ex-Premier Lin Chuan (林全), showed no interest in the task and might be rejected by China because he headed Tsai’s Cabinet from 2016 to 2017.