Two DPP lawmakers blast China for visa denial


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Two ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday that their failure to attend the opening ceremony of the 2007 Special Olympics World Summer Games being held in Shanghai Oct. 2-11 is the result of political obstruction by the Chinese government.

DPP Legislator Hsieh Hsin-ni said China should not refuse to allow her to attend the ceremony, adding that she is also a consultant of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC).

DPP legislators Lan Mei-ching, also a CTOC consultant who was also denied a visa to attend the Shanghai ceremony, said sports should transcend political boundaries and that she is supporting the Taiwanese athletes competing in the Special Olympics.

She said she wanted to encourage the athletes at the event and expressed regret that China does not allow her to travel to Shanghai.

Despite the two lawmakers’ inability to attend in the event, two other DPP legislators — Hsu Jung-shu and Wang Jung-chang — were given visas to attend the opening ceremony.

Special Olympics is an international nonprofit organization established to help people with intellectual disabilities to develop self-confidence, social skills and a sense of personal accomplishment through sports training and competition.