XML requires support for the following encodings:

Libxml v1 was very weak in that area. Libxml2 has native support for both encodings and ISO-Latin-x

If iconv library is found at compile time, it is used to add support to a large (and expandable) set of encodings including the most common Japanese encodings.

Libxml can save to a specific encoding, if a character cannot be encoded it is converted to a char ref on the fly like ሴ