- Global Voices - https://globalvoices.org -

China and Taiwan: Dalai Lama's visit, inevitably political

Categories: East Asia, China, Taiwan (ROC), Humanitarian Response, International Relations, Politics, Religion

Yesterday Dalai Lama arrived in Taiwan on a visit that has been denounced by China. The trip, requested by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to President Ma Ying-jeou, aimed at comforting victims of Typhoon Morakot. Dalai Lama explained in the airport that “I'm a monk. I was asked to say prayers for peace…There is no politics. This is humanitarian in nature”.

Although Dalai Lama tried very hard to keep his trip a humanitarian one and adjusted his schedule accordingly, the debates, protests and discussions concerning this trip have been pointing towards the other direction.

Taiwanderful posted Dalai Lama's schedule with a note complaining that:

This schedule may be subject to last minute changes. It seems the government gives with one hand and takes with the other. They let the Dalai Lama come here, but they are reluctant to let him do anything.

From the very beginning, those who opposed Dalai Lama's visit believed that the whole trip was a political show directed by DDP. For example, ROCgood from udn.com said:


This is an intentional consumption of the victims of Typhoon Morakot, consuming their deaths and sufferings. This kind of political trick is a dirty ambush towards those who have fallen into the well. It aims to stimulate the nerve of cross-strait relation, rob in a fire and get rich when the country has crisis. They [referring to DPP) intent to destroy the peace between Taiwan and China with pretentious act of “humanitarian comfort”, while on the other hand criticizes other people's “political logic”. It makes people sick!

According to Lin Pohua, a blogger and a columnist, there are three main arguments against Dalai Lama's visit, including: 1. Dalai Lama is a political figure and all his action has political purpose; 2. local religious figure can also give comfort to victims; 3. DPP takes Dalai Lama's visit as a political show. Upon listing out the above arguments, Lin defences:


Dalai Lama is from the very beginning a religious leader. If he is related to politics, it is because of the repression of Tibetan culture and religion by the CCP.


Ye Xiaowen [translator note: Ye is the director of State Bureau of Religious Affairs in China] ‘s comment that “all priest can pray and you don't need to seek one far away” is of bad intention to create conflicts between Taiwan religious sector and Dalai Lama. It also destroys the relation among religious groups within Taiwan.


CCP's attack on DPP is due to the fact that they could not express their anger towards Ma Ying Jeou and they have to place it on DPP.

Weichen points out that Dalai Lama had visited Taiwan twice in 1997 and 2001. In both incidents Ma Ying Jeou welcomed Dalai Lama warm-heartedly. The blogger predicts that Ma Ying Jeou and KMT's leader would not dare to meet Dalai Lama this time due to Beijing's political pressure.

Cigam looks at Dalai Lama's visit as a political match among DPP, Kuomingtang (KMT) and CCP:

The request made by DPP regarding Dalai Lama's visit is a good move. If KMT rejected the visit, it would enrage the victims. If it allowed the visit, it would enrage China.

一方面示意區長可以放達賴喇嘛通關,另一方面擺出強硬態勢:你他X的馬區長不聽話!甚至還放了一隻奴才來台灣大聲亂吠! 一招轉守為攻、連消代打,幫馬區長洗掉了部分「親中」的嫌疑(是嫌疑嗎?),順便再幫馬區長塑造出有擔當、有氣魄的形象!好了,雙方你來我往,如果發展到這裡,其實看起來好像是DPP做球給KMT跟支那來打,讓他們博得美名

The fact that CCP could defeat KMT has proven that it is a strong player.
On the one hand, it gave a “let go” signal for Dalai Lama's visit and on the other hand denounced the proposal openly: you fxxking district head Ma has acted against my will! It even sends a running dog [translator note: refering to Ye Xiaowen] to Taiwan barking around!
Such act has turned the table around and helped Ma, the district head, to clean up his pro-China suspect identity and rebuild his image as a responsible district head!
One round after the other, now it looks as if DPP has set the ball for KMT and China government, giving them a chance to win a good name.

Across the Strait in Mainland China, Dalai Lama's visit has become a forbidden topics in all forums and blog hosting websites.