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Taiwan to Offer Aid: Taiwan is to...

Taiwan to Offer Aid: Taiwan is to emerge as a creditor nation this year, using its economic muscle to win friends in the Third World and help ease its diplomatic isolation.

The first payments from a $1-billion development aid fund will be made in the first half of this year, Vice Economic Minister Wang Chien-hsien said. He said $100 million in low-interest loans would be made to Third World nations before the end of June. The rest of the fund would be used within three years.

Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand and the Philippines have already applied for loans totaling $50 million. Lesotho, Malawi, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Paraguay and Guatemala are among a list of countries expected to follow suit, Wang said.

Taiwan has become increasingly isolated since it lost its seat in the United Nations to Peking in 1971. Only 23 countries now recognize the island’s Nationalist government.

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