Getting It Strait

Nicky Loh / Reuters

Exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, center, prays for the victims of Typhoon Morakot in Taiwan on Aug. 31, 2009

When the exiled tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, last visited Taiwan eight years ago, Beijing went ballistic. To China's leaders, the Dalai Lama is Public Enemy No. 1 for, they claim, fomenting Tibetan separatism. Until very recently, the Beijing view of Taiwan was just as jaundiced and one-dimensional: a renegade province led and populated by disloyal subjects bent on denying China's Party-given right to rule them. Put the two together and you have the mainland's worst "splittist" nightmare. As the Dalai Lama sat down with all the island's then top political figures, Beijing practically tossed every invective across...

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