Chen to hold summit with outh Pacific leaders


TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Chen Shui-bian left for the Marshall Islands Thursday night for the second Taiwan-South Pacific island leaders summit.

Speaking to reporters at the Taoyuan International Airport, Chen said the purpose of his trip was to tell the world that Taiwan was committed to promoting the stability and prosperity of the South Pacific and to counter China’s schemes to sabotage Taiwan’s ties with countries in the region.

“China, by holding a forum with Pacific nations, tries to display its military, political and economic power, thus threatening the security of the Asia-Pacific … Taiwan wants to counter China’s infiltration by promoting cooperation with its South Pacific allies,” Chen said.

On Friday and Saturday, Chen plans to attend the summit with his counterparts in the six South Pacific allies: the Marshall Islands, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Nauru, Palau and Kiribati.

They will discuss issues of mutual concern, including health, fisheries, environmental protection, cultural and economic cooperation, and global warming. Chen will return home on October 14.