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Taiwan pledges US$500,000 to help set up APEC fund for women

2017/11/09 20:54:21

James Soong (宋楚瑜, right), Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit and Thomas Shannon (left), U.S. under secretary of state for Political Affairs

Da Nang, Vietnam, Nov. 9 (CNA) Taiwan will join with the United States and Australia to establish a fund to promote women's empowerment in the Asian region, a member of the Taiwan delegation to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam said Thursday.

Taiwan and the U.S. will each contribute US$500,000, while Australia will provide AU$1 million (US$767,400), said PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞).

He said the decision was announced earlier in the day at a breakfast meeting of James Soong (宋楚瑜), Taiwan's special envoy to the APEC summit; Thomas Shannon, U.S. under secretary of state for Political Affairs; and Karen Lanyon, Australia's Consul-General in Ho Chi Minh City.

They agreed to the establishment of the APEC Women and the Economy Sub-Fund that will be used to help empower women in the Asian region, Lee said.

At the meeting, Soong talked about Taiwan's progress in the area of gender equality, noting that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) was elected last year as the nation's first female head of state, according to Lee.

Also on Thursday, Economic Affairs Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) and National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) exchanged greetings with Chinese ministerial officials at the opening of a stone statue park on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministerial Meeting in Da Nang, Shen said.

The previous day, Soong met with Shannon to discuss economic and trade matters, and other APEC-related issues, ahead of the summit.

During the meeting, Soong talked about Taiwan's role in the APEC forum but did not touch on any sensitive issues, such as Taiwan's ban on imports of U.S. pork containing ractopamine residues, according to Lee.

Soong also stressed the importance of sharing, participation and inclusiveness and said that Taiwan was aiming to develop deeper ties with ASEAN, South Asia, and Australia and New Zealand, and also participate in regional economic integration, according to Lee.

In turn, Shannon praised Taiwan's soft power sourced from its economic prowess and its contribution to global disaster prevention efforts. Soong, who is also the chairman of the People First Party, arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam, on Tuesday to attend the APEC meeting that will be held Nov. 10-11.

(By Elaine Hou an Evelyn Kao)