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
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.