TUMON Guam "" Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian visited Palau and Nauru with a three-hour stop over in Guam in early September.

Chen arrived in Palau on Sept. 3 on the Republic of China’s "Air Force One " to attend the First Taiwan Pacific Allies Summit held in Koror. Pacific leaders who reportedly attended the summit include President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. of Palau President Kessai Note of the Marshall Islands President Anole Tong of Kiribate President Ludwig Scotty of Nauru Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare of the Solomon Islands and Prime Minister Apisai Ielemia of Tuvalu. The Republic of China Taiwan has provided grants and loans to governments throughout the Pacific region.

On Sept. 5 Chen flew to Nauru for a day before continuing to Guam.

The Taiwan president arrived in Guam on a chartered China Airlines jet rather an official Taiwan government plane at the request of the U.S. state department. The U.S. and the Republic of China do not maintain formal ties. On Guam the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office hosted a reception for Chen at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa attended by about 250 people including members of Guam’s Chinese communities of about 2 500 people. Local dignitaries included Madeleine Z. Bordallo Guam’s delegate to Congress and Gov. Felix P. Camacho; and representatives of the Guam judiciary.

Fong S. Wu president of Sunny Plastic (Guam) Inc. is president of the United Chinese Association of Guam and secretary general of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Both organizations have large numbers of members who are originally from Taiwan. Wu said "He [Chen] really appreciated that the people of Guam extended their arms and welcomed him including the governor and the congresswoman."

Wu said Chen expressed concern about democracy and peace in the Pacific. "He said he will extend his efforts and play an important role in sharing the responsibility of promoting the economy and political stability of this region."

Chen plans to attend a Pacific summit to be held in the region in 2007 Wu said. "He described the current status of Taiwan’s prosperity. He said he feels as one of the economic powerhouses it is important for him to watch over peace in the Pacific region. He said both Taiwan and China have to have a level playing field to be fair in negotiations and that economic power is an important factor and is the key to peace and negotiation."

Wu said Chen did not mention the subject of Taiwan’s independence. Wu said "He said he does welcome further dialogue between the two regions [Taiwan and China.]"

No cameras or cellular phones were allowed into the reception. A group of protestors stood outside the hotel.

The trip is not the first Chen has made to islands in the Micronesian region. He visited Guam in January 2005 and Palau for the inauguration of Remengesau the same month. Camach previously met with Chen in Taiwan when Camacho visited Taiwan for the Taiwanese national holiday of Ten Ten Day [Oct. 10] in 2005. MBJ