People First Party Chairman (PFP) James Soong (???), in his capacity as Taiwan's representative to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit, had a private meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday to discuss APEC issues.
During the 30-minute meeting with Kerry over coffee, Soong faithfully conveyed the views of President Tsai Ing-wen (???), whom he is representing at the APEC summit, according to Lee Hung-chun (???), a PFP lawmaker accompanying Soong.
Taiwan's National Development Council Minister Chen Tain-jy (???) and Minister without Portfolio John Deng (???), and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Daniel Russel also joined the discussions, Lee said.
The first meeting between a Taiwan envoy to APEC and a U.S. secretary of state took place in 2012. On that occasion, then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Lien Chan (??), Taiwan's representative to the 2012 APEC summit in Vladivostok, to discuss steps toward advancing U.S.-Taiwan economic relations.
The main goals of Soong's attendance of this year's APEC summit are to help Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises connect with business partners around the world, develop and deepen economic and trade relations with the 20 other members of APEC, and highlight Taiwan's economic momentum, Lee said.
Even though Taiwan has been a member of the forum for 21 Pacific Rim economies, its president has not been able to attend the summit because of China's objection. Beijing sees Taiwan as part of China, to be united by force if necessary.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel