Taiwan’s Government OKs Dalai Lama to Visit Taiwan: Update

From the New York Times:

Dalai_LamaTaiwanese President Ma Ying jeou says his government has agreed to a visit by the  to comfort survivors of a devastating typhoon.

Such a visit is likely to anger China, which considers the Buddhist spiritual leader a ”splittist” for promoting Tibetan autonomy. The move comes at a time when China and Taiwan are developing closer ties after decades of enmity. China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949.

The Chinese Government has denounced the proposed visit:

“No matter under what form or identity Dalai uses to enter Taiwan, we resolutely oppose this,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Bureau said in a statement carried by Xinhua news agency.

“Some of the people in the Democratic Progressive Party use the disaster rescue excuse to invite Dalai to Taiwan to sabotage the hard-earned positive situation of cross-straits relations.”… China is considered unlikely to retaliate by choking off growing economic ties between the long-time political rivals.

By blaming the opposition DPP and not Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou or the ruling Nationalist Party (KMT), Beijing may have indicated it does not wish to escalate the issue.

See also past CDT posts on the Dalai Lama.

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