A Taiwan sports head said Taiwan would be willing to join Beijing in hosting the 2008 Olympics Games, the world's most significant sporting gala, which is being pursued by five cities, if Beijing wins the bid.
Chen Yun-ming, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC), who is attending the ongoing East Asian Games in Osaka, said Taiwan would like to have a part in hosting the 2008 Games with Beijing, if approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
"Although Taiwan is not capable of hosting an Olympics alone, there are many people in Taiwan and also in the CTOC who are in favour of Beijing's bid,'' Chen was quoted by the Beijing Youth Daily as saying.
"China has never hosted an Olympic Games before and Beijing has a good chance of realizing it this time," he said.
Beijing is racing for the Summer Games with Paris, Toronto, Osaka and Istanbul and the IOC will vote for the Games venue during its 112th session in Moscow on July 13.
The IOC rules stipulate that the Olympic Games should be held in one city in one country and any intention of co-hosting or moving events to other cities should be approved by the IOC.
Beijing's top bid official had listed out three major premises for the Beijing bid committee to discuss with the CTOC.
"The two sides could only start to discuss the issue provided Beijing is awarded the 2008 Olympic Games, and with the approval of the IOC and under the one-China principle," said Jiang Xiaoyu, vice-president of Beijing bid committee on Monday in Hong Kong.
He said it is still too early to consider whether Beijing and Taiwan could join hands to host the Games, but both sides have combined efforts in backing Beijing's bid, such as the across-Straits marathon which will be held next month.
Jiang is another official after Yuan Weimin, president of the Chinese National Olympic Committee, to confirm the possibility of two sides co-hosting the Olympics. Yuan made the remark while paying a visit to Taiwan earlier this month.
Beijing has decided to move the yachting and sailing Olympic competitions to Qingdao in east China's Shandong Province and the preliminary soccer matches to other four Chinese cities provided Beijing hosts the 2008 Games.
(People's Daily 05/24/2001)