Taiwan President Makes Surprise Stop in Fiji
A charter plane carrying Chen, who is wrapping up a state visit to Taiwan's allies in the Marshall Islands, Kiribati and Tuvalu, landed in Fiji on Wednesday -- a move likely to anger China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province unworthy of international recognition.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Michel Lu denied speculation by Taiwan media that Chen could sign formal ties with Fiji during his one-night stay, saying it was only a transit stop.
"It's a happy surprise. But the transit is to make the president's trip more convenient and comfortable and we won't talk about establishing diplomatic ties," Lu said.
Chen had been scheduled to transit in Guam before returning home on Thursday.
Although Fiji officially recognises Beijing, it signed a mutual recognition agreement with Taiwan in 1996, Taiwan's foreign ministry said.
Only 25 states have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The
rest of the world recognises China, who exerts its political clout to isolate
the democratic island of 23 million and prevent countries from allowing the
independence-minded Chen to visit.
Source: Reuters India