Taiwan `communicating` with George W Bush over possible visit
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Last Updated: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 18:24
Taipei: Taiwan's government is in touch with the staff of former US President George W Bush on his possible visit to the island, a government source said on Wednesday.

The source told Kyodo News the Foreign Ministry has been "communicating" with Bush's staff on such a visit, but it is too early to say when, or even if, the visit will take place.

Taiwan's "Next Magazine" reported today that Bush is scheduled to arrive in Taipei in the second half of April.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Henry Chen did not deny the report, instead telling reporters that Bush is among a number of people whom the ministry would be interested in inviting to Taiwan.

But he said no itinerary for a Bush visit has been set.

Serving US presidents do not include Taiwan on their itineraries because of lack of diplomatic ties and the fierce response from Beijing that such trips would generate.

But Bush's three predecessors have all visited Taiwan after leaving office, providing the democratic island with valuable symbolic support.

Beijing has each time expressed its disappointment, suggesting they should abide by understandings reached between the US and Chinese governments and not act in a ways that lend legitimacy to the government of Taiwan, which Beijing considers part of its territory.


First Published: Wednesday, March 31, 2010, 18:24

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