The China Post staff
Government officials and political leaders yesterday congratulated Beijing for winning the bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games. They expressed hope that the event will enhance positive developments for relations between Taiwan and mainland China. Government spokesman Su Cheng-ping said the government hopes that Beijing will comply with the spirit of the Olympic Games to promote peace and further the well-being of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. He said Beijing should refrain from threatening of using force against Taiwan. Huang Ta-chou, chairman of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, sent a congratulatory message to his counterpart in Beijing. He said that the hope of Beijing’s winning the bid to host the summer games was shared by people both in Taiwan and the mainland. Huang said the success of Beijing also presents a new opportunity to push forward regional peace. He said his committee will cooperate with the Olympic Committee in the mainland to jointly promote the Olympic spirit. Cheng Ming-tung, vice chairman of the Mainland Affairs Council, said his council welcomes the opportunity to work with the mainland to maintain and improve the stability in the Taiwan Strait as well as the Asian region, although Beijing so far still refuses to renounce the use of force against Taiwan. Vice Chairman C.F. Cheng of the National Council on Physical Fitness and Sports under the Executive Yuan, said he looks forward to exploring the possibility of jointly hosting the games by arranging and staging some selected events in Taiwan as suggested by many people.
But he also acknowledges that it won’t be easily arranged due to the need of revising some of the existing regulations of the International Olympic Committee and in view of the current relations between Taipei and Beijing. Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou stressed that the government should strive to jointly host the games and hold some sports events in Taiwan, especially games like baseball and taekwondo in which Taiwan excels. Ma said he is glad that Beijing now has the chance to host the Olympic Games because it will help the mainland expand its contact with the world and become more open. A free and democratic mainland, he said, will be the best protection for Taiwan. Legislator Tsai Huang-lang of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party also congratulated Beijing for winning the bid. He hoped that the mainland will treasure the opportunity to stick by the Olympic spirit to improve human rights and turn the mainland into a free and democratic nation. The New Party (NP), which advocates unification with the mainland when gaps between Taiwan and the mainland will be bridged, uncorked champagne to celebrate Beijing’s success.
NP Legislator Hsieh Chi-ta said all Chinese people in the world should rejoice that the Olympic Games will be hosted by Chinese people for the first time.