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Tibet’s government-in-exile appoints new envoy in Taiwan

Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa served as Chinese propaganda official before fleeing to India

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Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa (right) will serve as Tibet's new envoy to Taiwan (Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat photo) 

Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa (right) will serve as Tibet's new envoy to Taiwan (Tibetan Parliamentary Secretariat photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Tibetan government-in-exile will move its envoy in Australia, Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa, to Taiwan to serve as its de facto representative, reports said Friday (Dec. 4).

Kelsang will succeed Dawa Tsering, who served the maximum six years as chairman of the Tibet Religious Foundation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, CNA reported. The new envoy is scheduled to take up his post on Jan. 4 and serve a four-year term.

Kelsang was born in Tibet in 1966 and started his career as a Chinese propaganda official in the province of Sichuan and in his native Tibet. He fled China for India in 1999 and joined the government in exile. One year after emigrating to Australia in 2016, he was appointed Tibet’s representative there.

With disputes between the United States and China escalating, the official leader of the Tibetan government in exile, Lobsang Sangay, was invited to an unprecedented visit at the White House on Nov. 20.

The Dalai Lama has repeatedly indicated his willingness to visit Taiwan again, but relations between Tibet and Taipei have been relatively low profile, in an effort to avoid China claiming there was a conspiracy between Tibetan and Taiwanese independence supporters, reports said.