May 17, 2004

Taiwan: US and Tibet sending a delegation to Taiwan

The US and Tibet will send a delegation to attend Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian's inauguration
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The US and Tibet will send a delegation to attend Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian's inauguration.

The U.S. send a delegation to Taiwan

WASHINGTON, DC, May. 16 -- The United States is sending a four-member official delegation to attend Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's inauguration.

The Taipei Times reported Sunday the U.S. delegation is smaller and by some measures less prominent than expected.

Rep. James Leach, chairman of the Asia and Pacific subcommittee of the House International Relations Committee, is leading the delegation. Other members include Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski, who was a leading Taiwan supporter in the U.S. Senate; William Brown, former deputy assistant secretary of state for Asia from 1983 to 1985; and American Institute in Taiwan Director Douglas Paal.

The Bush administration has been concerned Chen's reform program could alienate China and raise the specter of a move toward independence.

Source: The Washington Times


Dalai Lama to send envoy to Taiwan

TAIPEI, May 16 - The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, is to send an envoy to Taiwan for Chen Shui-bian's presidential inauguration this week, an official said on Sunday, in a move likely to anger rival China.

Kasur Tashiwangdi, the Dalai Lama's former representative to New Delhi, will attend the Thursday's inauguration to congratulate Chen, Presidential Office spokesman Huang Chih-fang said.

"Tashiwangdi will meet with President Chen," Huang said.

The spokesman also said the Dalai Lama had written to Chen to voice his sympathy when he and his deputy, Annette Lu, were shot on the eve of the March 20 presidential polls. They were slightly wounded in the unsolved shooting.

The Dalai Lama is labelled a "splittist" by China, which had been occupying Tibet since 1951. He fled Tibet in 1959 and has formed a government in exile in the northern Indian town of Dharamsala.

He once called for Tibetan independence but has adopted a conciliatory approach, instead demanding large-scale autonomy for the region.

China also accuses Taiwan of trying to formally split from the mainland.

The island has been ruled separately from the rest of China since the end of a civil war in 1949, and Beijing, which considers it a breakaway province, has declared it would invade if Taiwan declared independence or descended into chaos.

Source: Phayul