China warns Taiwan not to allow His Holiness’ visit in any form

DHARMSALA, Sep 14: China on Wednesday warned Taiwan of ‘severe impact on relations across the Taiwan Strait’ if it allows the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama to visit the country in any capacity or form.

“The intention of some forces in Taiwan to collude with separatists seeking ‘Tibet independence,’ and to create disturbances will have a severe impact on relations across the Taiwan Strait,” a Xinhua report quoted Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson for State Council Taiwan Affairs Office as saying at a press conference.

“We firmly oppose the Dalai Lama’s visit to Taiwan of any form,” the report further quoted Ma.

Ma Xiaoguang’s statement follows an official invitation extended to His Holiness to visit Taiwan and address its Parliament by a ten-member delegation of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan (HRNTT), including two Taiwanese legislators, Kolas Yotaka and Freddy Lim at a press conference held in Dharamsala on Sep 5, 2016.

Taiwan’s Legislative Speaker, Su Jia-chyuan on Sep 16 also expressed his warm welcome for the Dalai Lama to deliver a speech at the Legislative Yuan, saying he welcomes anyone who will fight for democracy and freedom.

China remains suspicious of Taiwan’s new President Tsai Ing-wen and her pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party despite Tsai’s insistence on maintain peace with China.

China has already stopped a communication mechanism with Taiwan in June in response to the government of the self-ruled island nation’s refusal to recognise the “one China” principle.

The Tibetan spiritual leader’s last trip to Taiwan was in 2009 when he came to the country to pray for survivors and victims of the deadly Typhoon Morakot.