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Hiranuma to meet Taiwan's Lin on sidelines of APEC.

TOKYO, June 4 Kyodo

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma will hold a meeting in Shanghai Thursday with Taiwan's Economic Affairs Minister Lin Hsin-yi to discuss bilateral economic relations, a top Japanese trade official said Monday.

Hiranuma and Lin will meet on the sidelines of a two-day meeting of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum that will start Wednesday in Shanghai, although there is no specific agenda, said Katsusada Hirose, vice minister of economy, trade and industry.

The two sides will not touch on any political issues, ministry officials said.

Tokyo has not refused to hold such a bilateral meeting during APEC meetings, the officials said, although it is usually anxious to avoid any move that could be interpreted by Beijing as recognizing Taiwan as an independent state.

Japan will not concern itself either with the recent suggestion by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian that he hopes to meet Chinese President Jiang Zemin at the APEC summit slated in October in Shanghai, the officials said.

Chen made his APEC bid even though Beijing has already ruled out his participation in the summit, saying it has been agreed in the past that Taiwan can only send economic leaders to APEC meetings.

China hosts this year's series of APEC meetings for the first time since it joined the grouping in 1991, along with Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Formed in 1989, APEC groups Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States and Vietnam.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Jun 11, 2001
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