Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 3 News List

FEATURE: Foreigners flock to Taiwan for Double Ten celebrations

Staff Writer, with CNA

Today’s Double Ten National Day festivities to celebrate the 100th year of the Republic of China will be attended by the most foreign visitors in a decade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Saturday.

About 50 delegations composed of up to 1,500 members are expected to attend the festivities, the ministry said.

The delegations include more than 15 high-level government groups from the nation’s diplomatic allies, including four presidents, three vice presidents, one prime minister and three legislative speakers.

Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom Caballeros, Nauru President Marcus Stephen and Palau President Johnson Toribiong are to attend the celebrations, the ministry said.

Some countries without formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan are also sending delegations, which makes the celebration more meaningful, the ministry said.

The guest list includes Valdas Adamkus, former president of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as former US secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Lawmakers from the European Parliament also issued a letter to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to show their support for an economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and Europe.

They also backed the country’s participation in international organizations, such as the WHO, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Taiwanese expatriates will also be arriving in Taiwan in large numbers for the bash. The Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission said more than 20,000 overseas Taiwanese — the most in 20 years — would return for the country’s big day.

Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission Minister Wu Ying-yi (吳英毅) said as of Friday, 12,299 Taiwanese had returned.

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