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Taiwan Supports Beijing's 2008 Effort

People involved in sports circles on both sides of the Taiwan Straits will spare no efforts in supporting Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, a top official of the State General Administration of Sports said.

"If Beijing wins the bid, it is possible that Beijing might host the 2008 Olympics with Taiwan under the principle of one-China,'' Yuan Weimin, director of the State General Administration of Sports, said after returning from a visit to Taiwan Province.

Yuan, who also chairs the China Olympic Committee, said that the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee has accepted an invitation to come to Beijing next month to inspect the city's Olympic bid preparations.

Yuan said Thomas Ta-chou Huang, the Taipei committee's head, has called on people on both sides of the Straits to join hands and make Beijing's Olympic dream become a reality in 2008.

Generally, Olympic Games are hosted by a single city, according to the chapter of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, under special occasions and with the permission of the IOC, some events can be held in other cities in the country.

Therefore it is possible that some events will be held in Taiwan if Beijing hosts the 2008 Olympic Games, Yuan said.

Kevin Kou-i Chen, secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee has said that if Beijing wins the Olympic bid it will greatly benefit Taiwan.

Chen said that the Games would increase business, sport and political exchanges across the Straits.

The focus of Yuan's Taiwan visit was winning more support for Beijing's bid at the Fourth Cross-Straits Sports Seminar last week.

Sporting exchanges have been welcomed greatly by people on both sides of the Straits. Many joint sporting events are expected in the future, Yuan said.
A marathon across Taiwan Straits will be held next month in support of Beijing's bid. The event was announced last week at a news conference held by sports officials from both sides of the Straits.

Nineteen athletes from Taiwan and the mainland will take part in the marathon that begins in Kaohsiung in Taiwan on June 16. The athletes will then fly to Shenzhen on June 18 and run to Beijing, arriving in the city on June 30. Various other promotional activities are planned to support Beijing's Olympic bid.

( 05/17/2001)