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Chen's South Pacific trip schedule yet to be confirmed, says official

2005-01-14 / Central News Agency / Taiwan News

President Chen Shui-bian's upcoming overseas travel itinerary has yet to be decided and will be announced by the Presidential Office when it is finalized, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Michel Lu made the remarks in response to media speculation that Chen is likely to make a stopover in Guam on his way back from a trip to the South Pacific later this month.

Asked whether Chen will meet with U.S. officials to exchange views on issues of mutual concern in Guam if he decides to make a stopover there, Lu said that judging from pragmatic viewpoints, it would be feasible for the president to do so.

A team from the Presidential Office is currently in a South Pacific country discussing the technical details concerning the president's visit.

Chen is scheduled to leave Taipei January 27 to attend the inauguration of Palau's president followed by a visit to one or two other allies in the South Pacific.

Chen had originally wanted to visit all five allies of the Republic of China in the South Pacific - which also include Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands - but out of consideration of the imminent Cabinet reshuffle and various other factors, he was unable to.

This will be Chen's first trip to the South Pacific since he assumed the presidency in May 2000, and his second official overseas visit since he assumed his second term as president May 20. He visited the Central American states of Panama and Belize in early September

 

 

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