The mainland has canceled or postponed several events meant to highlight its rapidly improving relations with Taiwan, apparently in a show of dissatisfaction over the Dalai Lama's visit to the island, Taiwan's ruling party said Tuesday.
The Dalai's visit, ostensibly aimed at comforting victims of last month's deadly typhoon, has posed the most serious challenge to relations between the island and the mainland since Taiwan leader Ma Ying-jeou took office 15 months ago, the party said.
Deputy Secretary General Chang Rong-kung of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) said officials sent an emissary to the mainland last week to try to explain why Ma approved the visit.
"Beijing's attitude toward this is important to us, so we tried to explain Taiwan's thinking to them," Chang said. He did not say how Beijing responded.
The mainland has canceled or postponed at least two planned visits to Taiwan, and nixed ceremonies meant to mark the expansion of direct air service, said KMT spokeswoman Chen Shu-rong.
A mainland banking delegation, led by deputy central bank governor Su Ning, was to have arrived in Taiwan on Monday to attend a seminar sponsored by the private Taipei Foundation of Finance, but Beijing abruptly postponed the visit.
"We got a call from them saying they could not attend. They said they had to postpone the visit due to technical reasons and would not provide details. But I think you and I know why," foundation chairman Sunny Chou told AFP.