Taiwan, claimed by Beijing as breakaway territory, takes part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum as “Chinese Taipei” and does not send its president to summits. The self-ruled island has faced increased military pressure from Beijing, including two rounds of major war games during the past year and a half.
Chang said he did not have any exchanges with Xi this year.
Given that both Taiwan and Beijing are members, Apec is one of the few global forums where officials from the two sides can interact, even if just to exchange pleasantries.
“My interactions with President Biden [were] of a social, in fact I might say, humorous nature,” Chang said.
“With Secretary Blinken, I mainly conveyed our strong desire for regional peace and prosperity, and also to some extent our very strong desire for increasing the supply resiliency.”
Chang said his conversations with more than 10 Apec leaders, including Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, focused on peace and economic development, supply chains and semiconductors.
Chang, 92, is retired from TSMC, although he remains influential as the elder statesman of Taiwan’s important semiconductor industry.
The United States, like most countries, has no formal ties with Taiwan, which it does not regard as independent. However, Washington is the island’s most important international backer and arms provider.
Tensions over Taiwan featured in Biden’s meeting with Xi earlier in the week, when the Chinese leader relayed conditions under which Beijing would use military force toward the island.
The White House has not elaborated on those conditions, but Biden asked Xi to respect Taiwan’s presidential election process next year, according to a US official.
Chang called the Biden-Xi talks a “good meeting.”
“It was good news that they resumed the military communications, and I think that it should help to reduce the tension between the United States and China. And it should increase the stability of the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao expressed concern in San Francisco over US curbs on semiconductor exports to China. The restrictions were implemented by Washington to prevent advanced US technology from being used to strengthen the Chinese military. US officials have sought to patch possible loopholes in the restrictions to prevent Beijing from circumventing them.
Chang said he supported the US export controls on China.
“How effective they are is a different question.”