International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Wu Ching-kuo (吳經國) said Chinese officials “fully understand” his bid to lead the powerful IOC and would not oppose it in line with broader policies on Taiwan.
The International Amateur Boxing Association president, who last week announced his candidacy to succeed IOC president Jacques Rogge, said he was confident that his long personal history with China would make this a case of “sport over politics.”
Wu, 66, said in an interview that he was born in China, made a groundbreaking visit there in 1989 and had supported Beijing’s successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games.
“Taiwan and China enjoy a very good relationship,” Wu said. “Personally I was the first Taiwanese sports leader to visit China in 1989 and I supported Beijing in their successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. I was born in China and moved from there to Taiwan with my parents at the age of one-and-a-half. This [candidacy] should be a case of sports over politics.”
“China recognizes my 25 years’ service to the IOC and they fully understand the situation,” Wu added.
Chinese support could be important for Wu as he bids to become the first Asian leader of the IOC, which controls the awarding and running of the summer and winter Olympic Games.
Wu is up against Singapore’s Ng Ser Miang, Switzerland’s Denis Oswald, Puerto Rico’s Richard Carrion and Thomas Bach of Germany, the perceived front-runner.
If elected at the IOC’s general session in Buenos Aires in September, cracking down on doping and illegal gambling — closely related to match-fixing — would be his main priorities, as well as instilling “Olympic values” in the world’s children, Wu said.
Wu said he would seek just one mandate of eight years, maintaining that any longer would be too taxing mentally and physically.
He said that his record at the International Amateur Boxing Association showed he could deliver on campaign pledges.