Tuesday, 26 February, 2008

Ma Ying-Jeou Visit to India [22-06-2007]

Taiwanese opposition leader and presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, whose party enjoys good relations with Beijing, Tuesday called for enhancing trade and investment between India and Taiwan and underlined the need for Taipei to seek permanent peace with Beijing.
“We are here to rediscover India and let India rediscover Taiwan,” said Ma here in the first visit by a leader of Kuomintang (KMT) or Nationalist Party to India in the last 60 years. “I come here to seek a new beginning with an old friend. We could prepare for even closer ties between India and Taiwan,” said Ma, the presidential candidate of his party for the 2008 presidential polls. He spoke in glowing terms about the transformation of India into a new age economy. “There is enough room for India and Taiwan to develop trade and investment between them,” said Ma while alluding to the steadily increasing business ties between India and Taiwan.
Bilateral trade between India and Taiwan, the hub of computer manufacturing and LCD units, is estimated to be around $3 billion. Ma also took positive view of growing economic and strategic relations between India and China and said Taiwan, with its vibrant economy and a healthy appetite for foreign trade, can play a “not so significant role in this process.”

Tibetan Olympic Torch in Taipei

The Taipei leg of the torch relay for the 2008 Tibetan Olympics took place 24-02-2008 with Tibetan expats in Taiwan, several Tibet support groups and Miss Tibet 2006 Tsering Chungtak in attendance [Tsering Chungtak, a sociology major from the University of New Delhi, made headlines last December when she was expelled from the 2007 Miss Tourism competition in Malaysia for standing up against the Chinese government and refusing to wear a sash that read "Miss Tibet-China."] "I feel very, very happy to be here today? to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics," Chungtak told spectators, supporters of the free Tibet campaign and reporters gathered in front of the National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall, Taipei where the relay took place.

The Tibetan Olympics has been organized by Tibetans in exile, and will take place in Dharamshala, India -- the seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile -- between May 15 and May 25. The events include long-distance running, swimming, shooting and archery, and six track and field events, according to the Tibetan Olympics Web site. Tibetans in exile have filed an application to the International Olympic Committee to participate in the Beijing Olympics as "Team Tibet," but it was rejected. The Tibetans therefore decided to organize their own Olympics. The relay began in New Delhi, India, on Jan. 30 and Taipei is the second stop for the relay after it passed through Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 17.

The organizers of the torch relay purposely chose Jan. 30 to begin the relay, because that was the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi, the leader of the non-violent resistance movement against British colonial rule, Chow told the audience at the ceremony.

After Taipei, the torch will travel to Dharamshala, India for a ceremony to mark the 49th anniversary of the March 10 Tibetan Uprising. The relay will then continue through eight other cities in six countries -- including Japan, the US, Bolivia, the UK, South Africa and Israel -- before the torch finally returns to Dharamshala on May 25 for the Games' closing ceremony.