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US stop by Taiwan's president will be private, unofficial, Bush administration says
2005-09-20 04:26:06 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON, Sept 20 (AP) -- Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, plans a "private and unofficial transit stop" in Miami, Florida, while en route to Central America this week, the State Department said Monday.

Requests for documentation for transit stops are evaluated on the basis of the safety, comfort and convenience of the traveler, spokesman Adam Ereli said.

"On that basis, we approved this request for transit," Ereli said.

Chen will be greeted in Miami by the honorary chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, the private organization that carries out unofficial relations with Taiwan.

Ereli said he was unaware of any protest lodged by China over the transit stop. China has complained to the State Department previously about U.S. transit stops by senior Taiwanese officials.

Chen is expected to arrive in Miami on Tuesday and leave Thursday.

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