February 29, 2016
By:: Benjamin Kang Lim and J.R. Wu, Reuters
BEIJING/TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan President-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s diplomatic
honeymoon with China could be shortlived if she allows the Dalai Lama to visit the self-ruled democratic island that Beijing claims as its own, two senior political sources said.
China regards Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader as a separatist, and Ma Ying-jeou, the outgoing president who favors closer economic ties with the mainland, refused the Dalai Lama entry several times since his last visit to Taiwan in 2009.
On that occasion Ma did allow him in, although he did not meet the 80-year-old.
With invitations pending from Buddhist groups that are likely to be renewed after Tsai and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party easily won January elections, the incoming leader faces a dilemma, said a Taiwanese source close to the DPP and another with direct knowledge of the matter.
“The Dalai Lama could visit as early as around national day,” said the source close to the DPP, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. [FULL STORY]