Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP makes decision on Olympic torch


The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has said that the Olympic torch for the 2008 Beijing Games must not enter or exit Taiwan via China, Hong Kong or Macau, a party leader said yesterday.

The consensus reflects the government's status as a self-ruled country, rather than part of Chinese territory, said Lai I-chung (賴怡忠), director of the party's Chinese Affairs Department.

"It is in order to give the impression that Taiwan is not part of China," he said.

China is determined the torch relay will visit Taiwan, and a departure to Hong Kong or Macau was viewed as a solution that would satisfy both Beijing and Taipei.

An official with the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee agreed that passing the torch through Hong Kong or Macau -- special administrative regions under Chinese control -- would be "a bit difficult."

The Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (BOCOG) was supposed to announce the route last year, but has yet to do so.

Talks with a delegation from Taipei in January appeared to have resolved the issue and BOCOG said last week they had finalized the plan.

The International Olympic Committee executive board, which must approve the schedule, will meet in Beijing next week.

The BOCOG is scheduled to announce the official route on April 26.

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