Taiwan would welcome a visit by exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, its foreign ministry said on Monday, a trip that would infuriate Beijing which views him as a dangerous separatist. The Dalai Lama has not visited the Chinese-claimed, democratic island under the administration of President Tsai Ing-wen, who first took office in 2016. He last came in 2009.
In a birthday message via video link to supporters in Taiwan on Sunday, the Dalai Lama said he would like to visit again. “As the political scenario changes, it may be that I’ll be able to visit you in Taiwan again. I hope so. Whatever happens I’ll remain with you in spirit,” he said on his website. Taiwan Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the government had not yet received an application for him to travel to the island but would handle it under “relevant rules” if one came.