The Dalai Lama has visited Taiwan twice, once in 1997 and 2001. However, soon after Ma took office on a platform promising to amend ties with the Mainland, a request for the Dalai Lama to visit was turned down by Ma, citing the timing as not proper. A Dalai Lama visit then could have derailed Ma’s plan for closer ties with the Mainland – and still has the potential to do so the same. Continue reading »
This article from the Southern Metropolis Daily (连接) gives us more. Partial translation is below:
“I’m going to the mainland in my role as a county commissioner. So, my perspective is anything that benefits the interests of the people in my county, then I will do it. If I complicate my thoughts on this issue too much, then many things won’t get done.”
Ma Yingjiu’s defeat of Xie Changting’s was critical in allowing the Mainland Affairs Commission to change policies towards the mainland. On July 3rd, the law was revised relaxing restrictions on Taiwanese county commissioners and mayors visiting the mainland. Su Zhifen will be the first DPP member to take advantage. (Ed: KMT mayor of Taizhong, Jason Hu, has also been to Xiamen following this change in law.)
Today (July 12th), Yunlin county commissioner Su Zhifen will lead a delegation aboard a cross-strait weekend charter flight, headed to Beijing. They are going to “find a route for Yunlin county’s farmers”, pushing quality agricultural products. Su Zhifen will be the first DPP county or city head to visit the mainland since 2000. Although this trip is based on economic needs, everyone has noticed the change in political path implied by the trip.