Friday, April 27, 2007

Taiwan opposes Olympic torch

Taiwan government refuses to let the torch of the Beijing's Olympic Games to come to Taiwan. This is the first case of a "National Olympic Committee" (NOC) rejecting Olympic torch in the history.

Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee and Beijing Olympic Committee announced the route of the torch. It is scheduled to go to Taipei from Ho Chi Minh City and then to Hong Kong and Macau. But after the announcement, in a press conference, Taiwan's Sport Committte argued that this route would damage and "dwarf" Taiwan's status as a national sovereignty .

Yang Zhonghe, Chairperson of Sport Committee of Republic of China (ROC), said that this route, from Taiwan, Hong Kong and then to China, gives an impression that Taiwan is one of the stops of the "national route". According to him, the design of this route seems to see Taiwan as the same as Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China. But Yang did not respond if Taiwan will or will not join the Olympic Games next year.

But Cai Zhenwei, Chairperson of the Olympic Committee, ROC, said that the route from Ho Chi Minh City to Taiwan and Hong Kong follows the principle of equality between NOC and NOC. He repeated that this was a problem of "political reading". Cai remarked that the Olympic Committee as a civic organization is helpless that it could only follow government's policy.

Zhang Xiaoyu, vice-chairperson of the Beijing Olympic Committee, said that Taipei, Hong Kong and Macau are part of the route outside China but not "international" line. In February, the Olympic Committee, ROC, reached a consensus with Beijing that the torch could be passed from a third party to Taiwan and then to Hong Kong and Macau. But Taiwan government suddenly overturned it in April and refused to accept the route.

Source: Sergio Maistrello

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At 1:08 AM, Blogger John said...

Why are the Taiwanese arguing for national sovereignty when the international community at large has never recognized, granted, or acquiesced in Taiwan as a sovereign country? Isn't it participating in the Olympics as "Chinese Taipei?" If they object to the torch route, shouldn't they object to "Chinese Taipei" as well?

At 1:17 AM, Blogger hegelchong said...

The Taiwan government doesn't like the status "Chinese Taipei" at all. But this is the only name recognized by the international society. I can understand and am sympathetic with many Taiwanese people's feeling about it. But some Taiwanese politicians turn it into some dirty politics. The issue of "Olympic torch" is an example. This is only an issue manipulated by politicians like Chen Shui Bian. There is no need to read the passage of the torch too politically.

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