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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dalai Lama Visits Taiwan Officials

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- While Beijing fumed, the Dalai Lama's unprecedented Taiwan visit took on a deeper political hue Wednesday as he met with the vice president and leaders of the main opposition party.

The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader also will meet President Lee Teng-hui before ending his six-day visit Thursday. The meeting will be held at an official guest house instead of Lee's office to deflect suspicion that he is treating the Dalai Lama as a foreign head of state, the presidential office said.

China has ruled Tibet with military force since a 1950 invasion, and claims Taiwan as a secessionist province. It views a meeting between Lee and the Dalai Lama as a convention of "splittists," its label for those it accuses of trying to break up the motherland.

After four days of largely religious events, the Dalai Lama turned to Taiwan's political face by dining with Prime Minister and Vice President Lien Chan at a Taipei hotel. The Dalai Lama urged increased contacts between Taiwan the government-in-exile he leads from India, government spokesman Su Chi said.