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Dalai Lama heads for Washington as Beijing seethes

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Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama headed for the US yesterday and a long-awaited meeting with US President Barack Obama that has infuriated China.

For the Dalai Lama — vilified by Beijing as a “wolf in monk’s robes” — recognition by the White House is crucial to maintaining a critical international spotlight on Chinese treatment of his Himalayan homeland.

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Ex-president confident over legal battle: sisters

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Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) sisters visited him yesterday in Taipei Detention Center, and said he remained confident about the legal fight to prove he is innocent of corruption charges.

Chen has been held at the center since Dec. 30, 2008, and the Taiwan High Court earlier this month extended his detention by another two months from Feb. 24.

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Ma visits former president Lee, KMT’s Lien Chan

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President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) visited former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) yesterday to wish him a happy Lunar New Year.

During the 50-minute visit, Ma and Lee discussed energy conservation and water resources, said Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦), adding that Lee also expressed concern about medical care, asking the government to attach importance to the development of related industries.

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US rejects Beijing’s demand to cancel Dalai Lama meeting

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The US has escalated a mounting row on multiple fronts with China, refusing Beijing’s demand to cancel US President Barack Obama’s meeting this week with the Dalai Lama.

The deepening public spat over Tibet, a row over US arms sales to Taiwan, China’s dispute with Google and trade and currency disagreements, come at a key diplomatic moment, as Obama seeks Chinese help to toughen sanctions on Iran.

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Freddie Lim invites Kadeer to visit for movie's DVD launch

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A pro-independence group said yesterday it had invited Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer to visit Taiwan after a previous trip was banned by the government because of concerns that it would provoke Beijing.

Freddy Lim (林昶佐), head of Guts United Taiwan, extended the invitation when he met Kadeer in Washington on Wednesday, the group said in a statement.

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Western nations protest rejection of Liu Xiaobo’s appeal

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The US, the UK and the EU protested a decision by a Chinese court to uphold the 11-year prison sentence for Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), a political dissident convicted last year on subversion charges after promoting a manifesto calling for China to become a democracy.

“We are disappointed by the Chinese government’s decision to uphold Liu Xiaobo’s sentence of 11 years in prison on the charge of ‘inciting subversion of state power,’” US ambassador to China Jon Huntsman said in a statement yesterday. “We believe that he should not have been sentenced in the first place and should be released immediately.”

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PRC using Iran to push US: Paal

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Douglas Paal, former director of the American Institute in Taiwan, said that Beijing has linked its behavior in respect to Iran and North Korea to the US’ behavior toward Taiwan.

“China would like to put pressure on the United States to reduce arms sales and adjust its relationship with Taiwan in exchange for cooperation,” he said.

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Newsflash


This photo taken on Friday shows a woman walking past Marriott signage in Hangzhou in China`s Zhejiang province.
Authorities in China have shut down Marriott`s local website for a week after the US hotel giant listed Chinese-claimed regions such as Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate countries.
Photo: AFP

The Republic of China is an independent nation and its efforts to ameliorate relations with other members of the international community will not be affected by Chinese oppression, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said yesterday.