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Taiwan Urged to Allow 2008 Olympic Torch to Pass Through
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A mainland official on Wednesday urged Taiwan authorities to honor their word and allow the 2008 Olympic torch to pass through Taipei.

Yang Yi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the mainland hopes Taiwan will respect the torch relay consensus reached by the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC).

"The mainland hopes Taiwan authorities will not let politics interfere with this event," Yang said.

He said the route chosen respected the Olympic Charter and IOC rules and regulations. The Taipei route had been chosen after full discussions between the BOCOG and the CTOC.

The route has been approved by the International Olympic Committee.

"The mainland hopes Taiwan will accept the torch relay route and that Taiwan compatriots will be able to see the flame pass through Taiwan," Yang said.

CTOC chairman Tsai Chen-wei confirmed in March that the Olympic flame would fly from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam to Taipei and leave for Hong Kong after the relay in Taipei.

The BOCOG on April 26 unveiled the 137,000-kilometer torch relay route for the 2008 Olympics, including a stop at Taipei.

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

(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2007)

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