Taiwan, Dalai Lama, China

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  1. #1

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    Taiwan, Dalai Lama, China

    Talk about stirring the pot up quite a bit:

    Dalai Lama trip puts Ma on spot
    Storm-hit Kaohsiung invites Tibetan leader
    Lawrence Chung in Taipei
    Updated on Aug 27, 2009

    Ma Ying-jeou faces one of the toughest decisions of his presidency after the pro-independence camp invited the Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan to comfort typhoon victims.

    The invitation to the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader to visit the island for four days from Monday places Mr Ma - already under pressure over his government's poor handling of Typhoon Morakot - squarely between a rock and a hard place.

    If he permits the visit he will anger Beijing and could damage the cross-strait relationship, which has improved rapidly since he took office. Beijing considers the Dalai Lama - who last visited Taiwan eight years ago - a "splittist" and protests when he visits other countries. If Mr Ma blocks the visit he is likely to be accused of putting ties with the mainland ahead of typhoon victims.

    The invitation was extended by Chen Chu, mayor of the southern city of Kaohsiung - who is from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party - and six other southern heads of local governments from the DPP. Ms Chen said the invitation was purely religious and humanitarian, and "not political".

    Observers of the island's politics challenged her assertion.

    "This is obviously politically motivated," said political scientist George Tsai Wei of Chinese Cultural University in Taipei. "The purpose is to embarrass Ma and put him in an awkward position."

    Andrew Yang Nien-dzu, secretary general of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies in Taipei, said: "This can't be a purely religious trip. The DPP is using [it] to make political gains."

    Kaohsiung was among the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Morakot, which struck Taiwan on August 6, triggering the worst flooding in half a century and mudslides that buried six mountain villages. At least 461 people have been confirmed dead and a further 192 are missing.

    Mr Ma's administration has come under fire for responding slowly to the disaster. Its approval rating has slipped to a low of 13 per cent.

    Ms Chen said they had invited the Dalai Lama "so that victims in the disaster-hit areas will be able to get peace of mind".

    DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan said: "If the Ma government fails to allow the Dalai Lama in to comfort the disaster victims, it means it is not concerned about the plight of the victims. Don't tell me you need approval from Beijing."

    An embarrassed spokesman for Mr Ma said: "We have to await further information before responding."

    Kuomintang lawmakers lashed out at the DPP. "Do they think Taiwan does not have enough troubles already?" asked Chiu Yi. "The DPP should concentrate on joining the government in relief and reconstruction work for the victims."

    The Dalai Lama lives in exile in Dharamsala, northern India. His office in the Indian capital, New Delhi, confirmed the DPP's invitation and said the Dalai Lama would be "very happy and pleased" to visit southern Taiwan and pray for typhoon victims.

    Ms Chen said the Dalai Lama's office had sent staff to Taiwan's representative office in New Delhi to apply for a visa. The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission in Taipei, which handles such matters, said it had not received an application.

    China News Headlines | Hong Kong's premier newspaper online | SCMP.com


  2. #2

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    The Taiwanese were afraid to take US and Japanese assistance. No way they let the Dali Lama in.
    Plus Ma ran on a "make amends with the PRC" platform, so his supporters should not fault him for coming up with a reason to keep the Dali Lama out.


  3. #3

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    Just the DPP taking advantage and scoring political points off a tragic regional event, aka s**t-stirring. The Taiwanese will see this for what it is and the DPP ratings will head south.


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    I just don't see where this improves any situation in Taiwan. Sometime politicians need to apply some common sense. Unfortunately, that probably hasn't happened in any country in over 100 years....


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    on a side point: where was china in the typhoon aftermath? the best occasion in years to easily score points with TW people and they failed, or did i miss something?


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    by the way, i just checked a website that said the taiwan government has agreed to let the dalai lama in. quite surprising in my view and also showing the weakness of the Ma government in charge


  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie09:
    on a side point: where was china in the typhoon aftermath? the best occasion in years to easily score points with TW people and they failed, or did i miss something?
    The Mainland Chinese government sent shedloads of aid

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    Quote Originally Posted by cookie09:
    where was China in the typhoon aftermath? the best occasion in years to easily score points with TW people and they failed, or did i miss something?

    The "best people" to deal with such situations, are the military - they have extensive training and are often deployed to help out within China and outside. There was fear that a mass of [Chinese] military soldiers in Taiwan would cause major misunderstanding/panic among the population.
    Last edited by Konijntje; 27-08-2009 at 02:25 PM. Reason: crappy spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Konijntje:
    The "best people" to deal with such situations, are the military - they have extensive training and are often deployed to help out within China and outside. There was fear that a mass of [Chinese] military soldiers in Taiwan would cause major misunderstanding/panic among the population.
    PRC military in Taiwan, even if it were to help with the aid efforts, for sure would have cause MASSIVE issues in Taiwan.

    Its the same situation when Japan offered to send troops to help the effort in China after the earthquake. Even if it were a genuine, non aggressive and humanitarian offer, it stirred up a whole mess.

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    Ma gives green light to Dalai Lama visit
    Agence France-Presse in Taipei
    Updated on Aug 27, 2009
    Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou said on Thursday his government had agreed to allow Tibet's spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit the typhoon-hit island.

    “We have decided to [agree to] the Dalai Lama's visit to pray for the souls of the deceased and seek blessings for the survivors of the typhoon,” Mr Ma told reporters in central Nantou county.

    The Dalai Lama said last year he wanted to visit Taiwan in an interview with a local newspaper in the northern Indian city of Dharamsala, but the China-friendly Ma at the time said the timing was not right for such a visit.

    Mr Ma's office attempted to play down the political significance of the visit when asked if it would impact ties with Beijing.

    Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of trying to split Tibet from China and reacts angrily to any country hosting him.

    “The visit is based on humanitarian and religious considerations which should not hurt cross-strait ties,” said presidential spokesman Wang Yu-chi.

    The Dalai Lama was invited by seven mayors from the pro-independence opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to visit southern Kaohsiung county, which was devastated when Typhoon Morakot struck earlier this month.

    In Beijing, China's Taiwan Affairs Office declined to immediately comment on the Dalai Lama's proposed visit.

    The Dalai Lama had accepted the invitation, his spokesman Tenzin Taklha told reporters on Wednesday from Dharamsala, where his exiled government has been based since a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.

    The Dalai Lama made a historic first trip to Taiwan in 1997 and visited the island again in 2001, triggering strong condemnation from Beijing.


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