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DELEGATION SETS OUT FOR EUROPE TO EXPLAIN TAIWAN'S REFERENDUM

2004-01-09 22:21:01

    Taipei, Jan. 9 (CNA) A delegation led by Legislator Parris Chang set out for Europe Friday evening on a mission to seek European states' support for the country's proposed referendum, despite a similar delegation to the United States having been abruptly suspended earlier in the day.

    Chang said his delegation will visit France, Germany, Belgium and Britain to explain the reasons behind a referendum called for by President Chen Shui-bian.

    Chang, who has business at the Legislative Yuan, will head for Europe Jan. 13, when the Legislative Yuan is in recess.

    Notable members of his delegation including Chuang Suo-hang, vice minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission, and political science scholar Byron Weng.

    They will return on Jan. 20.

    Another delegation to Southeast Asia for the same mission will embark Saturday.

    The delegation will be led by Antonio Chiang, deputy secretary-general of the National Security Council, and will include the president's policy adviser, Chiou Chui-cheng, and others.

    Taiwan decided to send the delegations overseas to explain the reasons behind President Chen's call for a referendum along with the March 20 presidential election because the United States and Japan are concerned about it.

    However, the delegation to United States was suspended Friday because the channels of communication between Taipei and Washington are open enough that a face to face meeting was unnecessary, according to an official.

(By Maubo Chang)

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