Taiwan's Ma's Change of Heart
By Erick San Juan
The 6-day visit of exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama in Taiwan is just what Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou needed to satisfy his constituents amidst the tension with Beijing on some of his pronouncements in favor of Taiwan ’s independence. This is the third visit of the Dalai Lama, the first two were in 1997 and 2001. This was approved by Ma after he rejected the spiritual leader’s visit nine months ago saying that the timing was not right.
The six days stay of the Dalai Lama focused on giving comfort through prayers among the victims of the typhoon Morakot that hit Taiwan leaving more than 500 people dead and thousands homeless. This will somehow boost the falling approval rating of President Ma due to his perceived inefficiency in dealing with the calamity that hit Taiwan .
As for China ’s reaction to this visit according to the Xinhua news agency, China 's Taiwan Affairs Bureau said, "No matter under what form or identity Dalai uses to enter Taiwan , we resolutely oppose this.”
"Some DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) members have taken the chance to plot the Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan ," Xinhua reported. "Obviously this is not for the sake of disaster relief. It's an attempt to sabotage the hard-earned good situation in cross-strait relations."
What China really wanted is for the unification of PRC ( China ) and ROC ( Taiwan ), and for moderate Ma, as what he promised that there will be no move to gain independence for Taiwan as long as he is the President.
What was not told in our local newspapers was the alleged statement of President Ma as reported by Asia Times recently defying the one China policy, which he told the European parliamentarians who visited Taiwan.
Is this another cross strait tensions brewing again? Will the efforts made by both states to finally implement the one China policy will go down the drain? We should be keen observers for future development in the cross strait of Taiwan and China especially the scheduled visit of President Barack Obama to Beijing in November.