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TAIPEI, Taiwan (December 30, 1999 – BBC News)---Taiwan has established diplomatic relations with the Micronesia area nation of Palau.

It is the latest move by the Taiwanese government to try to reduce the diplomatic isolation of the Asian country, which is recognized as an independent nation by fewer than thirty countries worldwide.

The Foreign Minister of Taiwan, Chen Chien-jen, told reporters during a news conference that the agreement had been signed in Palau last week, after he flew to the capital, Koror, to sign a communiqué.

The agreement became effective December 29.

Ambassadors will be exchanged as soon as possible, he said.

There has been no official comment so far from Beijing, which views Taiwan as a renegade province of China.

For additional reports from the BBC, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/BBC.

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