By Dennis Engbarth in Hanoi
Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
2006-11-17 04:56 PM
The Air Force Boeing 737-800 on a ``special administrative flight`` that bore Chang and his entourage arrived at the Noi Bai International Airport north of Hanoi at approximately 1:50 pm.
The landing marked the first time that the Air Force jet, which is ordinary reserved for President Chen and is then termed ``Air Force One,`` has landed in a country without diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
The flight was the second overseas mission for the Air Force jet, following a flight to Palau September 3 in which it carried President Chen, presidential staffers and media reporters to the First Taiwan - Pacific Allies Summit in the South Pacific island nation.
Chang was met at the airport by Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry First Vice Chairman Hoang Van Dung, who is also chairman of the APEC Business Advisory Committee and was the special ambassador sent by Hanoi to deliver the official invitation to President Chen.
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office Representative Huang Nan-huei told The Taiwan News that after the Air Force aircraft arrived at about 2:00 pm, he and a protocol officer for Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs knocked on the door of the aircraft to greet Taiwan’s leader representative and escort him down the stairs for a red carpet welcome.
Huang said that Vietnam’s welcoming protocol for the Taiwan leader representative was the same as for the other 20 APEC leaders.
Chang arrived at the Horison Hotel at 2:35 pm and posed for a photograph with his group in front of the hotel’s façades.
Chang joined an elite company of world leaders who arrived in Hanoi Friday for the summit, including United States President George W. Bush, who arrived at noon.
Chang is scheduled to hold an international press conference at 4:00 pm (Hanoi time or 5:00 pm in Taiwan) at the Horison Hotel after which the Taiwan, formally known in APEC activities as ``Chinese Taipei,`` will hold a banquet.
Along with the leaders of 20 other APEC members, Chang will participate in the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting which will formally hold its first closed door meeting Saturday afternoon, hold a second closed door meeting Sunday morning and issue the APEC Economic Leaders` Declaration Sunday afternoon.
Chang will hold another press conference late Sunday afternoon and is slated to hold a banquet with the local Taiwan community Sunday night and return to Taiwan Monday morning.