Taiwan Blocks Dalai Lama Visit

Taiwanese authorities have refused to provide a visa for the Dalai Lama, who was due to address a women’s organisation there next month. From the AFP: The Taiwan chapter of the Federation of Business and Professional Women, headed by former vice president Annette Lu, said the move reflected fear of angering China, which sees the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader as a separatist. “We are angry as the government is obviously worried about China’s reaction. It’s ridiculous that Taiwan has to listen to China and seek its approval before doing anything,” said a spokeswoman for Lu. […] Taiwan’s foreign ministry confirmed that they would not allow the visit, but denied China had anything to do with the decision. “It’s just not a good time,” foreign ministry spokesman Steve Hsia told AFP, declining to elaborate. A planned visit in 2008 was blocked on similarly vague grounds, though another the following year was allowed to proceed after much deliberation. From Shih Hsiu-chuan at Taipei Times: “When will it be a proper time for the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan? The timing was not right in 2009 [sic] and the timing is not right now. Do we have to wait until the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is out of power? Is Taiwan still a country that values democracy, human rights and freedom?” Tsai [Huang-liang, a DPP legislator] asked. The Dalai Lama was able to visit Taiwan, at the invitation of seven DPP mayors and commissioners, one month after Typhoon Morakot devastated southern parts of the country in August 2009, killing about 700 people and causing widespread damage. Ma called an emergency meeting at the National Security Council to deliberate the case. The meeting lasted five hours before he approved the visit. Beijing responded by cancelling a number of joint events, despite Taipei’s efforts to ...
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