Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, left Taiwan on Friday after a five-day trip to visit survivors of last month's deadly typhoon.
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader left from the Taoyuan International Airport outside Taipei, seen off by more than 100 supporters and monks shouting 'Long Live Dalai Lama'.
The Dalai Lama arrived Sunday in Taiwan to bless the survivors of Typhoon Morakot, which left nearly 700 people dead after it hit the island on August 8. He visited typhoon disaster areas in southern Taiwan, comforted survivors and held a prayer meeting for typhoon victims attended by 17,000 people.
Beijing also cancelled several delegations to the island, including one led by a deputy central bank governor. 'The more China uses all its resources to suppress a smiling monk, the more international sympathy and welcome he will get,' the Apple Daily said in an editorial.
'It's a clever decision for President Ma to allow the Dalai Lama's visit at a time he needs public support but his visit also highlights how different Taiwan and China are.'
Despite the criticism voiced by China over his trip, the Dalai Lama expressed hope on his last day in Taiwan that he might one day be able to go to Tibet.
"We are always ready to go back to Tibet. Of course, every Tibetan always thinks that way," he told reporters at the airport as he prepared to depart. Some information for this report was provided by AFP.