15 Aug 2005

Taiwanese president seeks Australian stopover on way to Pacific - reports

1:45 pm on 15 August 2005

Taiwan has asked Australia to allow its president, Chen Shui-bian, to make transit stops in Brisbane or Sydney.

Mr Chen has told the newspaper, The Australian, that he would like such stops on his way to the six Pacific island countries with diplomatic ties with Taipei.

The call comes just months after President Chen completed his second visit to the Pacific of the year.

Mr Chen said he respected Australia's formal diplomatic links with China but believed that this should not prevent practical co-operation between Taiwan and Australia.

Australia has banned visits by Taiwanese leaders for 33 years.

However, the US does allow him to make transit stops in cities like New York.