Sat, Jun 16, 2007 - Page 4 News List

House mulls motion on IOC/Taiwan

RESPECT US Congressmen introduced a resolution calling on the International Olympic Committee to allow Taiwan to participate in sports on its own terms

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER IN WASHINGTON

A resolution urging the Interna-tional Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow Taiwan to take part in next summer's Olympic Games "under the national name, flag and anthem of its own choosing" was to be introduced in the US House of Representatives yesterday.

The measure complains that the requirement -- imposed at the demand of China -- that Taiwan compete under the name "Chinese Taipei" violates the spirit of the Olympic movement and the rules imposed by the IOC.

The resolution, a copy of which was supplied to the Taipei Times, expresses the "sense of Congress" that "discriminatory treatment of Taiwan [Republic of China] by the International Olympic Committee is unfair, inappropriate and contradicts the spirit of both the Olympic Charter and the Olympic movement," and that the committee should "live up to the ideals of the Olympic Charter."

The measure was introduced by Congressman Tom Tancredo, an ardent supporter of Taiwan, and Steve Chabot, a co-chairman of the Congressional Taiwan Caucus.

Other congressmen were expected to sign on as co-sponsors.

The non-binding resolution does not deal with the issue of the route to be taken by the Olympic torch and China's demand that the leg through Taiwan be considered "domestic," or with threats that Taiwan might boycott the Games if the current restrictions stand.

Nor does it call on the Bush administration to make any efforts to convince the IOC to loosen its tight rules on Taiwan's participation.

The resolution complains that the IOC has "unfairly pressured Taiwan [Republic of China] to abandon its national name as a condition for participating in the games because of political pressure from the People's Republic of China."

This action is meant "to perpetuate the fiction that Taiwan is a part of the People's Republic of China even though Taiwan has never been under the control of the People's Republic of China for a single day," the resolution charges.

It also notes that the use of Taiwan's flag and the playing of the national anthem are banned at the Games, even when Taiwan athletes win medals.

The resolution states that the Olympic Charter requires that "every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play."

The charter also says that "any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement," the resolution adds.

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