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Taiwan's APEC envoy meets with world leaders

by November 19, 2016 General

The China Post news staff and CNA
November 20, 2016, 12:15 am TWN

Taiwan’s representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit James Soong (宋楚瑜) met with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍) over afternoon tea Friday.

Lee posted a photo to his Facebook page on Saturday of himself and his wife Ho Ching (何晶) posing with Soong and Soong’s daughter Angela Soong (宋鎮邁).

The four “had a good chat” during the one-hour meeting, according to Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), an adviser on Taiwan’s APEC delegation.

During his father Lee Kuan Yew’s tenure as Singaporean prime minister from 1959 to 1990, Lee Hsien Loong had met with Republic of China President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) on numerous occasions.

As Soong was Chiang’s secretary at the time, the two have had a long-lasting relationship, the adviser said.

Chiang, who died in 1988, had a close friendship with Lee Kuan Yew.

Soong had met U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier Friday — their second meeting in as many days — at a breakfast celebrating the fifth anniversary of APEC’s Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy declaration.

Soong and Kerry announced that the two sides intended to establish an “APEC Women and the Economy Sub-Fund.”

Also seated at their table for the breakfast event was Peruvian Vice President Mercedes Araoz, according to a tweet from the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Soong to Meet Japan PM,Won’t Talk Imports

The meetings with Kerry marked a “very big step” and “hard-won success” for Taiwan, Lee Hung-chun said, adding that Soong would meet with the leaders of other nations, including Association of Southeast Asian Nations members.

Aides said Soong would definitely meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the official APEC leaders’ summit, but that he wouldn’t bring up plans to ease Taiwan’s ban on food imports from radiation-affected regions in Japan as he was not authorized to discuss issues outside the APEC agenda.

Accordingly, Soong did not mention the relaxation of bans on U.S. beef and pork imports with Kerry, the aides said.

Meanwhile, Angela Soong was reportedly slated to mingle with the first ladies of the participating leaders on Saturday and Sunday.

Asked about the possibility of exchanges with Peng Liyuan (彭麗媛), wife of Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平), and U.S. first lady Michelle Obama, who is also attending the forum, she said she would “let nature take its course.”

She visited an international children’s village Friday, and presented children there with schoolbags and stationery.