Tuvalu News



2005/01/06 15:47:37 China News Agency

Taipei, Jan. 6 (CNA) - President Chen Shui-bian will visit ROC allies in the South Pacific later this month and attend the inauguration ceremony of the president of Palau, officials of the Presidential Office said Thursday.

The officials said that President Chen will leave Taiwan Jan. 27, to attend the inauguration ceremony of Tommy Remengesau, Jr. on Jan. 28, and then go to one or two allies in the South Pacific.

During his trip, the president's plane could refuel in either Guam or Saipan. The officials said that the president will visit all five allies of Taiwan in the South Pacific -- Palau, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands. If this is not possible, he will probably visit the remaining countries in the latter half of the year.

The officials said that the president should be able to visit one or two other allies in addition to Palau, saying that a working team is currently in the South Pacific to assess and arrange for the visit, and the countries the president will visit will be finalized after the team's return.

 The team reported that Tuvalu could be difficult as it has a small airport, and only one hotel with 30 rooms, and couldn't possibly accommodate the large entourage of the president.

 Most of the airport facilities of ROC allies in the South Pacific cannot accommodate takeoffs and landings of large aircraft, so China Airlines will use a 737 passenger plane for the trip. (By Lilian Wu)


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