Mainland 'resolutely opposes' proposed Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan

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The Chinese mainland said Thursday it "resolutely opposes" the proposed visit of the Dalai Lama to Taiwan "in whatever form and capacity."

"The Dalai Lama is not a pure religious figure," said a spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office.

"Under the pretext of religion, he has all along been engaged in separatist activities," the spokesman said.

Seven mayors and county chiefs from Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Wednesday invited the Dalai Lama to visit the island.

"When people from all sectors on the mainland are lending a hand to help Taiwan reconstruct and overcome the typhoon disaster quickly, some DPP members have taken the chance to plot the Dalai Lama's visit to Taiwan," he said.

"Obviously this is not for the sake of disaster relief. It's an attempt to sabotage the hard-earned good situation in cross-Strait relations," he said.

The scheme would be opposed by compatriots both on the mainland and in Taiwan, he said.

Morakot, the worst typhoon that hit the island in 50 years, had claimed at least 461 lives and left 192 missing and 46 injured as of Tuesday, according to Taiwan's disaster response authorities.

(Xinhua News Agency August 27, 2009)

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