Beijing Calls for Support from Across Taiwan Straits for Olympic Bid

Beijing on Sunday called for concerted efforts by both sides of the Taiwan Straits to realize the aspiration of the whole Chinese people to host the Olympic Games.

And Beijing would like to discuss with the island province of Taiwan, according to the "one-China" principle, on the possibility of sharing some events if Beijing is awarded the 2008 Games, a leading official of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC) said Sunday in Beijing.

Beijing, along with Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul, is bidding for the 2008 Games and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide on the Games venue in July at Moscow.

Tu Mingde, COC's secretary-general, made the remarks at a press conference here on Sunday, when an IOC evaluation team left the Chinese capital for Osaka, Japan after a four-day inspection tour of Beijing.

When asked at the press conference about whether Beijing would share some events with Taiwan, Tu said that he knew early last year through press reports from Taiwan that some officials of the local authorities wished to stage some of the 2008 Games events.

"The news shows Taiwan compatriot's aspiration of staging the Games," Tu said. "But under the Olympic Charter, the Games could only be staged in one city and in one country."

The COC official declined to rule out the possibility of moving some Games events to Taiwan. "Beijing is willing to discuss on the issue with Taiwan according to the 'one-China' principle if it wins the bid. But any decision on the issue needs an IOC approval beforehand," he said.

In the bidding report present to the IOC last month, Beijing has planned to include Taiwan in an Olympic torch relay but the Games candidate city did not mention an idea on sharing competition events.

Tu called on all the Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits to make coordinated efforts in Beijing's bidding campaign.

"At present, I wish people across the Straits can join their hands and contribute to help realize the Chinese aspiration," he added.

(People's Daily 02/26/2001)

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