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President Chen Entertains Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika at a State Banquet

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian decorated his Malawian counterpart Bingu Wa Mutharika Tuesday in recognition of Mutharika's contribution to the promotion of Republic of China-Malawi relations.

The conferring ceremony was held at a state banquet Chen hosted in Mutharika's honor in Taichung, central Taiwan, in which Chen bestowed the Order of Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon on the Malawian president.

Chen thanked Mutharika for the support and assistance his country has extended to Taiwan in its bids to join the United Nations, the Worth Health Organization and other international organizations.

Chen told his guest that Malawi is a "real friend" to Taiwan and that "the people of Taiwan will remember forever" the friendship between the two nations.

Chen also affirmed that Taiwan will not reduce its contribution to the international community as a result of political interference.

The government has adopted a pragmatic idea of diplomacy through increasing humanitarian aid and promoting the value of democracy and the efficiency of governance, Chen explained, adding that Taiwan will not fall short in any international assistance programs, even in those countries that do not maintain diplomatic ties with the ROC.

From international anti-terrorism activities to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the relief operations for recent tsunami victims in Southeast Asia and South Asia, Chen went on, Taiwan has never been absent nor has reduced its offers to the international community due to political interference.

Taiwan will eventually be recognized by the international community because of its insistence on doing the right thing, Chen said.

Sharing Chen's views, Mutharika said that Taiwan has every right to join the U.N. and other international organizations. Malawi will continue to speak for Taiwan in the international arena regardless any adverse oppression, he pledged.

Taiwan should be allowed to enter the U.N. as soon as possible because there is no reason to shut it out, Mutharika said.

At Chen's invitation, Mutharika arrived in Taiwan Monday for a five-day visit.

On Tuesday he toured the Tantze Export Processing Zone in Taichung in Chen's company.

He expressed the hope after the visit that Taiwan's experience in economic development will be introduced to his country and that Taiwan businesses will invest there.

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