Taiwanese Vice President Annette Lu was greeted triumphantly upon her return to Taiwan, but her trip to Indonesia yielded mixed results at best. Taiwan may well have raised expectations in Indonesia that it may not be able to fulfill. Moreover, China will now put renewed pressure on Southeast Asian countries not to allow any visits by top Taiwan leaders.

No doubt Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries, left to their own devices, would be happy to roll out the red carpet for Lu and for Taiwan's president, Chen Shui-bian, especially since Chen is urging the Taiwan business community to "go south" and invest in Southeast Asia rather than in China.

The Philippines has disclosed that Beijing had tipped it off about a possible attempt by Chen to enter the country. Manila has said it will not admit him in any capacity. "Whether he's coming in as a private citizen, official or as chairman of a political party, no way," said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Lauro Baja. He disclosed that Lu, while stranded in Bali, had applied for permission to land in the Philippines but was told that her plane would not be cleared to land.