East Asia Forum-Dolma Tsering, National Cheng Kung University
Taiwan and the exile Tibetan community share a unique relationship amalgamated by the nexus of China, historical baggage, the relationship between the United States, China and India, and the growing influence of Tibetan Buddhism. The recent high-level meeting between the new Sikyong (political leader) of the Tibetan exile government and Taiwan’s India representative for the first time in a decade is an embodiment of the complex nexus of the relationship.
After moving to Taiwan, the Kuomintang (KMT) re-established the Mongol and Tibetan Affairs Commission and the constitutional provision to assert sovereignty over Tibet. The exile government criticised KMT activities, especially its collaboration with Tibetan anti-Chinese guerrilla group Chu-Shi Gang Druk and the establishment of another Tibetan cabinet office in 1969. These activities not only challenged the sovereignty of the exile government but were accused of creating chaos within the exile community. Consequently, they share a hostile and contentious relationship.
The internationalisation of the Tibet issue after intervention by the United States and the European Union, the Dalai Lama’s Nobel Prize and political development within Taiwan in the late 1980s moulded a new path for the relationship. Click here to read more.