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Sep 1, 2009

Dalai Lama

The political bickering over the Dalai Lama's visit is something I find quite distressing. While the Dalai Lama's visits here will always carry a political tinge from the Chinese perspective because of fear of the Tibetan and Taiwanese independence movements joining forces, I just can't believe the KMT's relative willingness to jump on board with the idea that the Dalai's visit will somehow destabilize relations.

As Michael Turton has been documenting this week, all cross-strait relations plans are going full speed ahead; the Chinese Communist Party certainly got some notice and gave some tactic approval to the KMT for the Dalai Lama's visit; so the on screen attacks by the CCP against the DL's visit are for nothing but international media attention.

Given all of that, you can understand why Ma Ying-jeou might be eager to stay away. But I cannot fathom how that would motivate KMT legislators to fall over themselves to use CCP talking points, or act like the Dalai Lama is responsible for the Chinese delegation's boycott of the Taipei Deaf Olympics' opening ceremony this year -- instead of Ma's presence, which was what prompted the boycott during the World Games, and what is doubtlessly still responsible for the boycott now.

Further, the Dalai Lama's appearance in Kaohsiung today was devoid of any comments on politics, democracy, or anything but the dharma and blessing the victims. He said nothing to and did not shake the hands of Tsai Ing-wen and Chen Chu, who were both seated in the front row. None of the other monks in the delegations had anything to do with the politicians present. The press won't be allowed in the room where he's giving another speech this afternoon at his hotel. I think he's really doing his part here to avoid sending any "splittist" signals. And you would think that would be enough to keep the KMT happy.

It's depressing to know this is likely to be the last time the Dalai Lama visits. While Lien Chan, Ma Ying-jeou and James Soong could all meet with the Dalai Lama in 2001, I don't think the KMT will ever welcome him with open arms again. :(

4 comments:

Thomas said...

One Chinese official refuses to attend a ceremony for a Taiwan month festival in Liaoning, of all places. Cross-strait flights go ahead without the opening ceremonies. And the Chinese Deafolympics team boycotts the opening ceremony, which is in line with what the World Games team did. Yeah, ties are reeeeally suffering now.

I only hope that the public will notice that the KMT cheerleaders are talking through their buttocks. The DL's visit is looking more and more like a success, and I think the DPP has behaved too, making it harder and harder for the KMT to claim otherwise.

Please, please, please let this be the start of a more responsible and thoughtful strategy by the DPP!

Islander said...

It's alarming to see how much influence China has in Taiwan now compared to DL's previous two visits.

The same KMT heavyweights that wanted and got to see DL back then are now afraid to do so out of fear of angering belligerent China.

In the old days, you could always count on the KMT guard Taiwan against the CCP. Now, the KMT is simply a branch of the CCP in Taiwan.

Where's the outrage from the old time KMT bluebloods? Why are aren't they speaking out against the KMT's who will go to China to celebrate the 60th anniversary of when the CCP kicked KMT out of China?

Pathetic.

Alex said...

THANK YOU for this post. I agree completely, and do find it sad that this probable final visit to Taiwan for the Dalai Lama has been marked with so much controversy.

If I'm to get political on this matter at all (which I prefer to treat purely as a spiritual and humanitarian matter), I will say that this decision by Ma shows he's willing to work with China but not completely sell the soul of Taiwan. We're all hoping for a mutually beneficial relationship with China but we're not willing to cave in to some of China's more ridiculous policies.

Anonymous said...

For the why: My theorie is simple. The CCP after Deng Xiaoping is basically KMTv2. Now, what the CCP constructed in China is basically what the KMT old guard lost during the democratication of Taiwan. A national one party dictatorship. Therefore, why should they oppose the CCP anymore?