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International relations

Taiwan again taps TSMC founder as envoy to APEC summit

Morris Chang to represent Taipei in international forum as China blocks Tsai

President Tsai Ing-wen, front right, named TSMC founder Morris Chang, left, to represent Taiwan at APEC for a third straight year. (Photo courtesy of Taiwan's Presidential Office)

TAIPEI -- Taiwan on Tuesday appointed the founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. as its representative to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit next week, as China continues to block the self-ruled island from sending its president.

Morris Chang will attend in place of President Tsai Ing-wen, marking the third year in a row and the fourth time overall that the 89-year-old has been named in the role. The summit, hosted by Malaysia, will take place Nov. 20 via videoconference.

In a news conference, Tsai cited Chang's "great insight into the future prospects of the technological and digital industries" as a factor in his appointment.

Chang is among the foremost figures in Taiwan's business world, as the founder of a company that produces some of the world's most advanced chips and helped propel the island's semiconductor industry to No. 2 globally.

"This is a critical year as global supply chains undergo realignment," Tsai said. "It is both appropriate and significant that we can once again rely on Dr. Chang's experience to clearly convey to APEC members Taiwan's contributions to regional development, and our plans and suggestions for the future."

Chang said he believes Taiwan will make significant contributions to APEC and win broad support, adding that he is looking forward to attending.

APEC, which Taiwan joined as Chinese Taipei in 1991 alongside China, is one of the few forums that gives the island opportunities to work with the international community.

But Taiwan has been unable to send its president to APEC leaders' meetings since the first was held in 1993, due to Beijing's insistence under its "One China" principle that the island is an inalienable part of a single China and not a sovereign state.

Similarly, Taiwan was blocked from participating as an observer in Monday's annual meeting of the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization's decision-making body, amid objections from China. The U.S. and others had urged the WHO to invite Taiwan, particularly given its success in minimizing the spread of the virus.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry has expressed "regret and dissatisfaction" at China's "obstruction" of the island's participation in the WHO.

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