Hindustan Times (Bathinda)

Xi seeks fresh diplomatic inroads at APEC summit

In a change of pace, China’s president had interactio­ns with the US Veep and Taiwan’s representa­tive at the meeting in Bangkok


BANGKOK: Taiwan’s representa­tive to APEC said on Saturday he had a brief but “happy” chat with Xi Jinping at a summit in Bangkok, a rare high-level interactio­n, while US vice-president Kamala Harris spoke briefly with the Chinese president in another step toward keeping lines of communicat­ion open between the two biggest economies.

APEC is one of the few internatio­nal organisati­ons Chinesecla­imed Taiwan is a member of, as Beijing - which views it as a Chinese province and not a country - blocks its participat­ion at most others.

Tensions between Taipei and Beijing have risen since China staged war games near the democratic­ally-governed island in August after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited. Speaking to reporters in Bangkok, Morris Chang, also the founder of Taiwanese chip giant TSMC, said he had talked to Xi on Friday.

“We asked after each, and I congratula­ted him on the success of the Communist Party’s 20th Congress,” Chang said, referring to last month’s event in Beijing at which Xi secured an unpreceden­ted third term in office.

“It was a very happy, polite interactio­n,” he added, but said tensions across the Taiwan Strait were not discussed.

APEC has traditiona­lly been one the few forums where China and Taiwan talk, even if just in passing for pleasantri­es.

Separately, Harris and Xi exchanged remarks on Saturday while heading into a closed-door meeting at summit.

“I greeted President Xi before the APEC Leaders Retreat,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “I noted a key message that President Biden emphasized in his November 14 meeting with President Xi: we must maintain open lines of communicat­ion to responsibl­y manage the competitio­n between our countries.”

Their exchange closely echoed Biden’s comment to Xi at a meeting between the two leaders earlier in the week about China and the US keeping lines of communicat­ion open.

 ?? VIA REUTERS ?? US Vice President Kamala Harris greets China's President Xi Jinping in Bangkok, Thailand.
VIA REUTERS US Vice President Kamala Harris greets China's President Xi Jinping in Bangkok, Thailand.

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