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Exile Tibetan administration looks to strengthen Taiwan ties beyond politics

(TibetanReview.net, Oct10’21) – Sikyong (President) Penpa Tsering of the Central Tibetan Administration has said that Taiwan-Tibet ties could be strengthened beyond politics and called for more exchanges between the two sides, reported Taiwan’s national news agency CNA (Central New Agency) Oct 9.

“There are many aspects in which we can work together,” the report quoted him as saying in an interview in New Delhi on Oct 4. The Sikyong was on a three-day visit to the Indian capital to meet with some foreign mission heads, including Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to India, Mr Baushuan Ger.

“We still have to find and understand how we can work together, how we can collaborate on issues other than politics. Not necessarily only politics … So I’m really looking forward to strengthening our relationship in the future,” Penpa Tsering has added.

In particular, he has expressed hope that the Taiwanese government could provide scholarships to Tibetan students in order to foster more exchanges between Taiwanese and Tibetans.

Asked whether the Dalai Lama would like to visit Taiwan, he has responded that while this was currently not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, future hopes would depend on the nature of the invitation and how an agreement would be reached for one.

The Sikyong has called resolving problems with China his priority and also urged dialogue between Taiwanese and Chinese authorities. He has said using force was not an option as it would not benefit any side in the cross-strait dispute. Rather, it might escalate with more powers getting involved, he has added.

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Meanwhile, at a gathering marking the 110th anniversary of the 1911 Revolution held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Oct 9, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said the Taiwan question would be resolved along with national rejuvenation and warned that “secessionists” were a serious threat to that mission.

The national reunification of China will and must be realized and no one can stop the process, he has said.

He has also said national reunification by peaceful means would best serve the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including compatriots in Taiwan.

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In a strong riposte to Beijing, President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan has said Oct 10 that her country will keep bolstering its defences to ensure nobody could force it to accept the path China had laid down that offered neither freedom nor democracy, “nor sovereignty for our 23 million people”.

In her address on Oct 10, which is Taiwan’s national day, Tsai has said Taiwan was an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, and that she will not compromise on defending its sovereignty or freedom.

Taiwan stands on the frontlines of defending democracy, she has added.

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