Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) Taiwan, as a member economy of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, has full rights to participate in APEC meetings, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said Tuesday.
As an APEC member, Taiwan has the same rights and privileges as other member economies, Huang said, adding that there should be no political prerequisites for Taiwan's participation in the 2018 APEC forum on behalf of its 23 million people.
However, the Presidential Office has not yet selected an envoy to the APEC leaders' summit in November, he said.
Huang was responding to a Liberty Times newspaper report earlier in the day that cited Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) as saying that China is attempting to block Taiwan's participation in the 2018 APEC meeting.
China has stepped up its efforts to suppress Taiwan in the diplomatic sphere by luring away Taiwan's diplomatic allies and trying to block Taiwan's participation in international forums, including APEC, Wu was cited as saying.
Also on Tuesday, Andrew Lee (李憲章), spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), said Taiwan will not be absent from the 2018 APEC leaders' summit and related meetings despite reports of China's attempted obstruction. MOFA will not take any such developments lightly, Lee said at a regular news conference, adding that China has consistently resorted to political interference in Taiwan's participation in international organizations.
"We think this is not advisable," Lee said, adding that many like-minded countries are opposed to China's bullying.
The APEC meeting is an important forum for Taiwan to demonstrate its enthusiasm for international participation and many members of the trade blocs recognize the role Taiwan plays internationally, he said.
Therefore, "Taiwan will be absolutely not be absent from APEC and will actively participate in the 2018 forum," Lee added.
APEC allows Taiwan to participate in its meetings as a separate economic, rather than political, entity.
On the question of whether Taiwan will be blocked this year, Lee said China will not go so far as to prevent Taiwan from participating.
However, MOFA will remain alert and will do all it can to ensure Taiwan's participation in this year's APEC forum, he added.