MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Nov. 13) - Taiwan's first ambassador to Kiribat, Chen Shih-liang, is due to leave for the Pacific Island nation later today.

Kiribati established diplomatic relations with Taipei on Friday, despite strong protests from Beijing, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province.

A delegation from Taiwan's Development Foundation is also expected in Kiribati over the next 10 days to look at potential areas of assistance, including agriculture, fishing, and trade.

Kiribati is the base for one of China's three foreign space-monitoring stations.

Taiwan has said issues relating to the station are matters for China and Kiribati to decide.

November 13, 2003

Radio Australia: www.abc.net.au/ra


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