A Chinese mainland official on Wednesday denied any new condition had been added in discussions with Taiwan over the route of the 2008 Olympic torch relay.
"As far as I know, the Organizing Committee for the Beijing Olympic Games (BOCOG) has not added any new condition regarding the Olympic torch relay passing through Taiwan," said Li Weiyi, spokesman of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, at a regular press conference.
Some Taiwan media reported that the mainland had added a new condition during negotiations stating that the flag of the Taiwan authority should not be displayed while the torch is present on the island.
"The international Olympic Committee has clear rules on how to deal with flag issues during the Games. We assume that the torch relay through Taiwan should also follow these rules," Li said.
The issue was included in the consensus reached between the BOCOG and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) in February this year, he said.
"We still hope the Taiwan authority can take into account the true expectations of the people that the Olympic torch can be carried across the Taiwan Straits and stop creating barriers driven by politics," Li said.
He urged the Taiwan authority to adopt the consensus reached in February.
"The BOCOG and the CTOC will continue talks about the torch relay," he said.
BOCOG announced on April 26 that the 2008 Olympic torch relay would pass through 135 cities all over the world. The planned 137,000-kilometer route includes a stop at Taipei before the torch arrives in Hong Kong, Macao and a score of Chinese mainland cities.
The International Olympic Committee approved the route after the two sides across the Straits reached agreement.
But some of Taiwan's pro-independence officials immediately rejected the route, claiming that the plan "belittled" Taiwan.
(Xinhua News Agency September 12, 2007)