Thu, Aug 12, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Church supports Olympic bid using the name `Taiwan'

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan should seek the right to hold the 2016 Olympics under the name of Taiwan instead of Chinese-Taipei, said a leading church official yesterday.

Presbyterian Church in Taiwan general-secretary William Lo (羅榮光) and veteran media figure Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) yesterday issued a statement saying that the use of "Chinese-Taipei" in this year's Athen's Olympics is a capitulation to Chinese oppression. Taiwan should stand up for itself by entering the competition to host the 2016 Olympics, they urged.

"We need to take the initiative and show the world we are an independent country. If we propose holding the Olympics in 2016 under the name Taiwan, then we demonstrate that we have confidence in ourselves, that we have the ability and will to unite together. It is our responsibility to contribute to the global village as one of its members," said Lo, an active proponent of Taiwanese independence.

The proposal is the brainchild of Yang, who submitted a written proposal to President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) recently about the idea. After hearing about it, the Presbyterian Church decided to support Yang, Lo said.

Kaohsiung has already received the go ahead for the 2009 World Championships and should try for the Olympics, Yang said, suggesting Kuantu as a prime location for erecting an Olympic park.

Lo emphasized the importance of using "Taiwan" versus "Chinese-Taipei" in international situations.

"If we acknowledge ourselves to be Chinese-Taipei then we are saying we are stateless. Other people internationally will look down on us because we've already admitted that we're not a nation," Lo said.

When asked about China's possible reaction to such a proposal, Lo pointed to the recent controversy behind Taiwan's posters in Athens as proof that China was determined to oppress Taiwan through any means possible.

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