Sunday, April 29, 2007

Taiwan, China, and the Olympics Part I: Who is Playing Politics?

This story was written by a fellow son-in-law of Taiwan who resides in Taipei. I offer it to The Travis Monitor readership to counter the slanted reporting of the predominately pro-China International media.

Taiwan, China, and the Olympics Part I: Who is Playing Politics?
Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The Olympic Charter states that politics and sport should be kept separate. Yet China is claiming surprise that Taiwan has rejected its politically planned route for the Olympic torch.

Taiwan is a democratic nation of 23 million people (a nation larger by population than 75% of the member states of the United Nations). It has always expressed that it wants the Olympic torch to pass from a 3rd country through it to another 3rd country before entering China. It states this because it wants to avoid the use of the Olympic torch route by China to bolster its political claim that this democratic nation belongs to China. Taiwan and China have been in negotiations over this matter.

Examine the Olympic torch route. The torch comes up from south Asia bypassing Taiwan to Nagaono, Japan. It then goes across to Seoul, South Korea and then to Pyongyang, North Korea. It returns south again bypassing Taiwan to Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam. After going past Taiwan twice, it comes back up to Taiwan. After Taiwan it goes to Hong Kong, China and goes through the cities of China ending up in Beijing.

China is already planning to have the Olympic torch go through Tibet to bolster its political claim to rule Tibet which it has occupied for over fifty years.

Who is playing politics? Who is mixing sports with politics? The political row over the route could easily been satisfied if the torch stopped in Taiwan on its way north to Japan or again if it stopped in Taiwan on its way south to Viet Nam. The route from North Korea to Taiwan to Viet Nam and then to Hong Kong would be the simplest way to resolve this.

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