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Mainland welcomes Taiwan compatriots to join in Olympic-related activities
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Taiwan compatriots are welcome to participate in activities relating to the Beijing Olympic Games next year although the Olympic torch relay cannot pass through Chinese Taipei, said a Chinese mainland official on Wednesday.

Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said the Chinese mainland welcomes Taiwan compatriots to take part in Olympic-related activities such as cultural and sports exchanges, trainings and matches, and voluntary activities.

Li said the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games (BOCOG) had shown sufficient patience and sincerity during the process of communicating the issue with concerned organization in Taiwan , however, the Taiwan authorities refused the goodwill for political consideration.

"Nothing I can do but sigh," he said.

Li said the Chinese mainland would try its best to make the players of Chinese Taipei delegation take charter flights to Beijing, which also needs the cooperation of the Taiwan authorities.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has cancelled the plan of the Olympic torch relay passing through Chinese Taipei, it was announced by a spokesman of the BOCOG on Friday.

The spokesman said that on Thursday, Tsai Chen-wei from Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee said in a letter to BOCOG that the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee would not have further discussions with BOCOG on the issue of the Olympic torch relay passing through Chinese Taipei and thus closed the door of the discussion.

BOCOG expresses its deep regrets that the Olympic torch relay in the end will not be held in Chinese Taipei and the high expectations of the Taiwan compatriots to pass the Olympic flame will not be realized, the spokesman said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2007)

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