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Presidential Office rejects Dalai Lama's criticism

June 29, 2010

By Ko Shu-ling, STAFF REPORTER
The Taipei Times (Taiwan)
Jun 29, 2010, Page 1

The Presidential Office yesterday dismissed
comments by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai
Lama, who said the Chinese Nationalist (KMT)
administration appeared to be "aimless."

Presidential Office Spokesman Lo Chih-chiang said
the direction of the administration was clear.

"Our policy is Taiwan is always the focus and the
people’s interest comes first," he said.

The Dalai Lama told the Liberty Times (the Taipei
Times’ sister paper) during an interview with
Chinese-language reporters in Japan on Sunday
that he did not know where the Taiwanese government was heading.

The spiritual leader made the comment after being
asked if he would visit Taiwan again.

The Dalai Lama said his visit to Taiwan last year
seemed to create trouble for the administration
of President Ma Ying-jeou. He said some Taiwanese
media had produced negative reports about him at
first, but that the coverage turned positive
after they learned more about the nature of his trip.

He said that when he met former KMT chairman Lien
Chan in 1997, he told Lien he was not against the
Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Lien, however, told him that his party was.

"What about now?" the Dalai Lama asked, adding
that he was confused about the direction the KMT administration was adopting.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office declined to
criticize former president Lee Teng-hui, who on
Saturday called on the public to reject Ma in the
2012 presidential election. Instead, it said that
Ma’s cross-strait policy had taken a
Taiwan-centered approach while protecting public interests.

"The public will judge whether former president Lee is bigoted," Lo said.

Lo said many business groups and economic
strategists in Taiwan and abroad recognized that
the economic cooperation framework agreement
(ECFA) the administration is expected to sign
with Beijing today had more advantages than disadvantages.

On Saturday, Lee also said Ma was "not qualified
to be the president of Taiwan" because he was
bending over backward to cooperate with Beijing’s
plans to annex Taiwan. He said Ma’s policies put
Taiwan in an unfavorable position and urged the
public to strongly oppose what he called the
administration’s "erroneous" policies.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers rallied behind Lee yesterday.

DPP legislators told a press conference that the
former president’s comments were an accurate
reflection of much of the public’s opposition to the controversial agreement.

"For Lee to say that the DPP should win all five
municipalities [due for election in November] and
call on the public to boot Ma out the sake of
Taiwan shows just how angry and worried he is
[about the ECFA]," DPP Legislator Wong Chin-chu
said. "Lee sees that from an overall economic
perspective, an ECFA will cause Taiwan
irreversible harm and danger. This is why he
called on the public to boycott the Ma administration."

DPP spokesperson Tsai Chi-chang  said that both
Lee and DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen agreed that
the only weapon left for the public to keep the
government honest in its push to sign an ECFA
with China was through their votes.
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