The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has cancelled the plan of the Olympic torch relay passing through Chinese Taiepi, it was announced by a spokesman of the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games (BOCOG) on Friday.
The torch for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is shown in this handout photograph during a ceremony in Beijing, April 26, 2007. Taiwan said on Friday the Olympic torch would not pass through the island because officials from the island and mainland could not reach a deal, despite six months of talks. [Reuters]
The spokesman said that on Thursday, Tsai Chen-wei from Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee said in a letter to BOCOG that the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee would not have further discussions with BOCOG on the issue of the Olympic torch relay passing through Chinese Taipei and thus closed the door of the discussion.
BOCOG expresses its deep regrets that the Olympic torch relay in the end will not be held in Chinese Taiepi and the high expectations of the Taiwan compatriots to pass the Olympic flame will not be realized, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the responsibility for this entirely rests with the Taiwan authorities.
"The Taiwan authorities have violated the regulations of the 'Olympic Charter' and take the opportunity to promote political propaganda. The Taiwan authorities set up barrier over the agreed route of torch relay, which directly resulted in the abortion of the plan," said the spokesman.
It's the first time for an Olympic committee to turn down the arrival of Olympic torch relay.
The BOCOG announced on April 26 that the 2008 Olympic torch relay will pass through 135 cities all over the world. The planned 137,000 kilometers route includes a stop at Taipei before the torch arrives in Hong Kong, Macao, and a score of Chinese mainland cities.
The relay route had been approved by the International Olympic Committee after the two sides across the Straits reached the agreement.