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Taiwan Urged to Accept Olympic Torch Relay Route
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A mainland official on Wednesday urged Taiwan authorities to accept the itinerary for the 2008 Olympic torch relay and allow the torch to pass through Taipei.

Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the mainland hopes Taiwan will respect the consensus reached between the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) and acknowledge the relay route.

The relay route has already been approved by the International Olympic Committee.

The BOCOG announced on April 26 that the 2008 Olympic torch relay will pass through 135 cities all over the world. The planned 137,000-kilometer route includes a stop at Taipei before the torch arrives in Hong Kong, Macao, and a score of Chinese mainland cities.

But some of Taiwan's pro-independence officials immediately rejected the route, claiming the plan "belittles" Taiwan.

Li said the BOCOG had shown full respect for the CTOC during the discussions and that CTOC chairman Tsai Chen-wei confirmed the relay route on March 27.

The spokesman said Taiwan authorities' breach of the consensus is politically motivated. "The notion that Taiwan is in some way being 'belittled' just does not stand up to scrutiny," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2007)

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