Sun, Aug 27, 2006 - Page 2 News List

PRC patriots target Taiwanese kids in flag-snatch shocker

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of a Chinese team participating in the International Children's Games in Thailand, yesterday snatched Taiwan's national flag from Taiwanese medalists as they accepted their awards.

The Taiwanese team was led by Deputy Taipei Mayor King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) and officials from the city government's Department of Education.

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed "astonishment" and "deep regret" over the incident, stressing that the city government would lodge a protest with the organizer.

"It's the sixth time Taipei City has joined the event, and the first time for Beijing. Its attitude is surprisingly rude. This issue could have been solved through negotiation," Ma said last night as he watched the Taipei Firework Festival in Dadaocheng (大稻埕).

The first incident occurred before the Taiwanese athletes went on to the podium to receive their awards.

The flags which the athletes were planning to use had gone missing. It emerged that the flags had been stolen by members of the Chinese team, Angel Chen (陳譽馨), section chief of the city government's publicity department, told the Taipei Times last night.

The second incident occurred when the athletes were on stage and ready to receive their awards, when individuals later identified as members of the Chinese team approached them and ripped off the flag that the athletes had worn.

The third incident occurred after the ceremony was over. Taiwanese athletes were sitting among the audience when members of the Chinese team approached and again ripped away the flag, Chen said.

Taiwanese officials immediately filed a complaint with the organizer.

They demanded an apology from China and the return of the flag, according to a statement released by city government officials last night.

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