TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary and Ambassador for APEC, Matthew J. Matthews said that the U.S. government is supportive and protective of Taiwan’s participation in APEC as a member of the intergovernmental organization, during an interview with CNA published on Sept. 26.
Matthews said that Taiwan is a very constructive member of APEC, abides by APEC norms, and functions in accordance with APEC frameworks and conventions.
APEC is a 21-member intergovernmental forum that promotes economic liberalism and free trade on all sides of the Pacific Ocean. Taiwan has been a member of APEC since November 1991, participating under the name “Chinese Taipei.”
Matthews told CNA that the U.S. government has always supported Taiwan’s continued APEC membership, and will ensure that Taiwan’s long-term participation is secure. He added that he feels many other APEC members feel the same way.
The comments were made after local media reports recently suggested that China is actively trying to impede Taiwan’s participation in the upcoming APEC forum held in Papua New Guinea in November.
In response to the speculation, Taiwan Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said on Sept. 25 that Taiwan as a member of APEC has full rights to participate, reported CNA.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) is expected to represent Taiwan in November.
Matthews is visiting Taiwan to meet with Taiwanese officials working with APEC to discuss issues including digital economy, female empowerment, reduction of trade barriers, and sustainable development. Female empowerment will be a significant focus of APEC forums in 2018 and 2019, according to CNA.
Matthews noted that Taiwan could expand its involvement, and act as a role model to APEC through promoting female participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics areas.