By Tenzin Dharpo
Freddy Lim with the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama , Aug. 2016/OHHDL file
DHARAMSHALA, Sept 14: Following the invitation of Taiwanese legislator Freddy Lim to Tibetan leader Dalai Lama to visit Taiwan last week during an audience in Dharamshala, China has warned the self ruling island with “severe impacts” indicating it might harm their already strained relations.
Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office yesterday (Sept 13) told reporters that China “firmly oppose any form of visit" by the Tibetan leader who is regarded a “separatist” by China. Speaking in a boldly worded statement, she said, "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."
According to media reports, Taiwanese Foreign Minister David Lee told legislators that the ministry shall review the matter carefully if the Dalai Lama decided to come to Taiwan. A spokesperson from Lee’s ministry told Reuters
, "If he submits his (visa) application, our government will handle it based on relevant rules". The Tibetan leader had last visited Taiwan in 2009.
The Taiwanese MP since January, Freddy Lim, has been a vocal critic of China. His assistant Kenny Chang, cited by Reuters mentioned that, "Lim is inviting him (Dalai Lama) to visit Taiwan to share his ideas and religious philosophy."
China has maneuvered a change in its dealing with the island nation they claim as their own ever since Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate Tsai Ing-wen was elected the President.
In May this year during her inaugural speech, Tsai vowed to cut dependency on China economically and declined to concur with the idea of Taiwan and Mainland China as a part of ‘one China’ as per the controversial ‘1992 consensus’, an agreement between Taipei and Beijing that there is ‘one China’. China retaliated with severing diplomatic ties.