The Olympic flame could blaze its trail across Taiwan as the island is considered for a leg of the 2008 Beijing Games' torch relay route, organizers said yesterday.
|A Chinese girl picks flower in front of a Beijing Olympic Games poster at a park in Beijing August 8, 2005. [Reuters]|
"Based on information we've got from Taiwan, most of the Taiwan people hope the Olympic torch can come to the island," said Jiang Xiaoyu, executive vice-president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).
"We will take their hopes into careful consideration while drafting the (torch relay) route."
It is not the first time BOCOG has expressed the wish to include Taiwan in the torch-relay plan. In March, BOCOG President Liu Qi said the domestic torch relay route for the 2008 Games should include Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.
He made the remark during a programme on China Central Television.
The final draft of the Olympic torch relay route will be submitted to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for approval at the end of this year.
Besides the torch relay, organizing officials have also invited people in Taiwan to get involved in the 2008 Games as much as possible.
"The 2008 Olympic Games is not only for Beijingers, but for all the Chinese people," said Jiang.
"To involve as many Chinese people as possible is one of the criteria for hosting a successful Games."
He called on people in Taiwan to take part in the Games in many ways - through the volunteering programmes, marketing plans and venue construction.
"Before and during the 2008 Olympic Games, altogether 100,000 volunteers will be needed. We hope to see many Taiwan people serving the Beijing Games," Jiang said.
BOCOG officially launched its volunteers programme on June 5. Recruitment will begin in August 2006 and run through April 2008.
On the business front, Jiang said he expected the Games to have a Taiwan sponsor.
"We hope Taiwan companies will become the sponsors of the Games and share the business opportunities offered by it," he said.
The Games' marketing development plan was launched in September 2003.
So far nine partners and four sponsors have been selected.
Jiang said he hoped Taiwan companies could get involved in the massive Olympic constructions in China's capital.
"We are glad to see that many Taiwan people have already been involved in some of the solicitation campaigns, such as the Olympic emblem, the Olympic theme song and plans for the opening and closing ceremonies," Jiang added.
"We hope to see Taiwan artists give wonderful performances at the annual Olympic Cultural Festival as well."
On Taiwan's wish to host the Games' taekwondo competitions, Jiang said it is unlikely because the events are already scheduled for the Gymnasium of the University of Science and Technology in Beijing.
The gymnasium will break ground by the end of this year.