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President Chen Embarks on a Five-Nation State Visit to Latin America

CKS Airport, Taoyuan, May 21 (CNA) Republic of China President Chen Shui-bian, embarking Monday on a five-nation state visit to Latin America, said he hopes his trip will give Taiwan greater international exposure. 

In a speech prior to his departure, Chen said he is making the overseas trip--the second since he took office last May—to demonstrate that Taiwan is "standing tall and reaching out." Chen said he hoped that "the people of Taiwan will be able to see the world better, as the world better sees us." 

Since the ROC is a sovereign state, Chen said, it is more than willing to share its experience in political reform, economic prosperity and cultural preservation with its diplomatic allies. He also stressed that the nation must retain its dignity and expand its horizons within the international community. 

Chen also offered his greetings to opposition Kuomintang Chairman Lien Chan and senior presidential adviser K.T. Li. Both of them are in hospital due to illness. 

The centerpiece of Chen's Latin America trip, which will take him to El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay and Honduras, will be a summit meeting of ROC and Central American heads of states. During the May 25 meeting in El Salvador, Chen will exchange views with the leaders of the ROC's Central American allies on a wide range of issues, including regional political development, trade and economic cooperation, investment, tourism and other matters of mutual concern. 

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