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630 foreign dignitaries join National Day celebrations

The China Post--A total of 630 foreign dignitaries are taking part in the Republic of China's National Day festivities to celebrate the nation's 101st anniversary today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

Forty-nine of the guests are from eight of Taiwan's 23 diplomatic allies, including President Christopher Loeak of the Marshall Islands, who is leading a 10-men delegation on his first trip to Taiwan after assuming the presidential post in January, the MOFA said.

President Loeak is also scheduled to meet with President Ma Ying-jeou to exchange views in promoting closer bilateral ties, it said.

Other distinguished guests from the nation's diplomatic allies include the Vice President of Guatemala Roxana Baldetti, and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Manasseh Maelan, among others, the MOFA said.

Countries without formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan are also sending delegations, including the United States, Japan, France, and Europe, it said.

Despite the recent tensions between Taipei and Tokyo over the disputed Diaoyutai Islands, a Japanese delegation — one of the largest — is taking part in the Double Tenth Day celebrations, consisting of 29 congressmen, according to local media reports yesterday.

The U.S. delegation features American state and county officials, the report said.

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