TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Taiwan's vice president flew to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, the final leg of a Middle East tour that has provoked protests from China, Taiwanese news reports said.

Vice President Lien Chan will visit Taiwanese agricultural technicians during his three-day stay, Taiwan Television reported.

The trip follows visits to Bahrain, where Lien met with government leaders, and Jordan, where he received an honorary doctorate in social sciences and reportedly dined with King Hussein.

The trips are labeled unofficial and kept low-key to avoid provoking China, which considers Taiwan a breakaway province with no right to its own foreign affairs.

All the countries Lien is visiting have diplomatic relations with Beijing, not Taipei. Taiwan is recognized by just 28 countries.

China is believed to have pressured Lebanon last week into canceling a visit by Lien. Beijing also expressed ``strong resentment and regret'' over Lien's visit to Jordan, saying it harmed Chinese-Jordanian relations.

The news reports said Lien will visit Malaysia before returning to Taiwan on Saturday.

Taiwan established a government independent of the mainland at the end of the China civil war in 1949.