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MOFA to “do its best” to set up APEC meets with U.S., China reps

Taipei, Nov. 7 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) will do its best to have Taiwan’s representative meet with his American and Chinese counterparts at the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders’ summit, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Wednesday.

“We would not rule out any possibility and will do our best to make it happen,” Wu told lawmakers when asked at a legislative hearing to comment on the possibility of such meetings.

Morris Chang (張忠謀), founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) has been named as Taiwan’s representative to attend the APEC leaders’ summit in Papua New Guinea from Nov. 12 to 18.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平), meanwhile, are expected to represent their respective countries.

Asked what Chang would discuss if he met with those leaders, Wu said Chang would probably raise Taiwan-U.S. trade and investment issues with Pence and extend some “goodwill gesture” to Xi, without elaborating on what kind of gesture could be made.

Previously commenting on whether Chang would meet with Pence, the top U.S. representative to Taiwan, Brent Christensen, did not give a direct answer.

“We anticipate that he (Chang) will, in fact, as is always the case, interact with other leaders at the summit. But at this point we don’t have specific information about how that might happen,” Christensen, the new director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s (AIT) Taipei office, said on Oct. 31.

Christensen also praised the selection of Chang as an “inspiring choice.”

“He represents everything that is good about Taiwan, a really outstanding and very prominent figure in Taiwan society,” he said.

(By Joseph Yeh)
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China Airlines mulling purchase of 6 more widebody Airbus planes

Toulouse, France, Oct. 22 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL), one of the leading international carriers in Taiwan, said Monday that it is thinking of buying another six extra wide-body A350 aircraft as part of its plan to expand its global transportation network.

CAL Chairman Ho Nuan-hsuan (何煖軒) told the press in Toulouse that his company is studying the possibility of purchasing the long haul A350-900 XWBs or the bigger A350-1000 XWBs and will make a decision later this year or next year.

Ho made the comment on the sidelines of a ceremony at which CAL took the delivery of an A300-900 XWB, the latest addition to its fleet of 13 Airbus aircraft of that model.

CAL’s latest A300-900 XWB features a unique joint livery that combines the airline’s distinctive plum blossom logo with Airbus’ exclusive A350 XWB carbon fiber pattern.

In 2008, CAL signed with Airbus to buy 14 A350-900 XWBs, with an option of an additional six planes, which Ho said CAL is now considering.

He said either the A300-900 or the A300-1000 would be a good choice at a time of rising fuel costs resulting from a spike in international crude oil prices.

According to CAL, the A350 XWB is manufactured by means of the most advanced technology and is a lighter and safer model because of its high-end production materials.

In addition, the aircraft model is eco-friendly, which means it can cut carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent and lower maintenance costs, CAL said.

CAL said it is the fourth largest buyer of the A350 XWB series and that it is listed by Airbus as a customer that is likely to purchase more aircraft in that series.

Airbus has also received an order for 17 A350XWBs, five A350-900s and 12 A350-1000s from a newly established Taiwan-based carrier, StarLux Airlines, which is expected to start operations in 2020.

As part of Airbus’ promotion of the A300-1000, it flew the aircraft to Taipei in January on a demonstration tour across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions.

(By Wang Shu-fen and Frances Huang)
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