The Dalai Lama will arrive in Taiwan on Sunday for a trip that will include praying for victims of Typhoon Morakot, his spokesman told CNN.
While in Taiwan, the Tibetan spiritual leader is also expected to give a public talk on compassion and religious harmony, spokesman Tenzin Taklha said Friday. The Dalai Lama, who will return to India on September 4, will also comfort and offer prayers for typhoon victims, Taklha said. Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou said earlier Thursday that he had approved a visit by the Dalai Lama to pray for the victims of the typhoon-battered island. The Dalai Lama’s visit to Taiwan seems certain to anger mainland China, which accuses the spiritual leader and the island nation of separatism. Beijing accuses the Dalai Lama of advocating for Tibetan independence from China, and considers Taiwan to be a renegade province. Taiwan’s relations with China have improved under Ma, who has taken a more conciliatory approach than his predecessor. Watch a report on the Dalai Lama’s planned visit »
Then-Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian rejected China’s assertion that there is only “One China” and Taiwan is an inalienable part of it. Taklha has denied there is any political subtext to the visit.