Finance ministers from China and Taiwan were all smiles at the Asian Pacific Economic Co-operation (Apec) forum, briefly putting aside a dispute over investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston. Finance Minister Xiang Huaicheng and his Taiwan counterpart Yen Ching-chang emerged from a 40-minute meeting to face the media. The dispute, as well as other sensitive bilateral issues, were not broached during the discussions, according to Mr Yen. 'We had a pleasant discussion,' he said. Mr Yen has been at the centre of the latest dispute between the two countries. 'These issues were not Apec-related,' he said in response to questions about whether the talks touched on the CSFB issue or direct trade and banking links, now banned by Taiwan. China apparently punished CSFB after it organised a promotional tour of Europe by the Taiwan Government to promote international investment. Mr Yen was part of the tour. Beijing subsequently dropped CSFB from the underwriting group for a new share offering by China Unicom. Mr Xiang may not have pleased his guest by dropping his ministerial title and saying only: 'Mr Yen and I had a good talk.' Taiwan has protested about Beijing's behaviour when hosting past Apec meetings because it had dropped the official title of the island's representative in invitation letters. Taiwan avoided bringing up the dispute over CSFB at other bilateral meetings yesterday - the issue did not come up in talks with Canada's finance minister, Paul Martin, according to a Canadian official. However, Taiwan and China did discuss the global economic slowdown which has affected both economies, although Taiwan has been much harder hit. China has been able to avoid some of the pain from the global slowdown with its heavy government spending aimed at stimulating its large domestic economy. 'We had a lot of common views towards economic issues,' Mr Xiang said. The formal sessions with Apec finance ministers started yesterday.