Fri, Aug 01, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Taipei to handle political issues at Games

READY AND WATCHING Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen said task force members in Beijing would only deal with sports-related incidents

By Ko Shu-ling, Mo Yan-chih and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The emergency response task force set up by the government to handle the Olympics will not handle political issues in Beijing, which will be dealt with in Taipei, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday.

Council Vice Chairman Chang Liang-jen (張良任) told a press conference that a task force in Taipei would take care of any political issues or other matters that task force members sent to Beijing could not handle.

Task force members sent to Beijing would deal with matters only concerning sports activities and any related conflicts, he said.

While Minister without Portfolio Ovid Tseng (曾志朗) will lead the task force to Beijing, Chang will preside over the team in Taipei.

The task force includes members from the MAC, the Sports Affairs Council, the Straits Exchange Foundation, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, the National Communications Council and the National Security Council.

Liu said the task force was on standby and that he believed that any issues regarding Beijing denigrating Taiwan’s sovereignty at the Games would be “properly dealt with.”

“As our principle when dealing with Beijing over the years has been to uphold equality and reciprocation, we will not allow our sovereignty to be depreciated at the Beijing Games,” he said. “I believe they [China] will not engage in any petty maneuvers because they want to see a successful Olympics.”

In related news, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), who met with Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) in May, said yesterday he had no plans for a second meeting with Hu during his trip to China for the Olympics.

“I am attending the Olympic opening ceremony as a guest with no other plans,” Wu said during an interview with Radio Taiwan International. “However, I promise to express clearly the Taiwanese people’s voice and their expectations for safety, dignity and international space.”

Wu brushed off the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) condemnation of the government’s acceptance of Taiwan’s title at the Olympic Games and the arrangements for the opening ceremony.

“Chinese media called our team ‘Taipei, China’ during the last two Olympics. Thanks to the KMT government’s efforts, they are now referring to us as ‘Chinese Taipei,’” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Kaohsiung Mayor Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) of the DPP yesterday dismissed media speculation that he had received an invitation from Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of the Games as a VIP guest.

Chiu said that neither he nor Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) had received an offer from China to attend the opening ceremony. Chiu said if he were to attend, he would participate as a board member of the Kaohsiung Organizing Committee (KOC) of the 2009 World Games, which the city is hosting next year.

Chiu made the denial in response to a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News yesterday that said Chiu, KOC chief executive officer Hsu Chao-chuan (�?�) and former National Security Council deputy secretary-general Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳), who served as a KOC board member, had been invited by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office to the opening ceremony.

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