Taiwan says won't host torch, decision final

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Taipei, Sep 21: Taiwan said today the Olympic torch would not come to the island after it failed to reach a deal with China and that the decision was final.

Taiwan blamed the failure after months of negotiations on a number of issues, including Beijing's insistence that the island adhere to International Olympic Committee rules that ban the use of Taiwan's national flag and anthem at Olympic events.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949 and has promised to bring the democratic island's 23 million people back under its rule, by force if necessary.

''In the final week of negotiations there was barely any progress at all,'' said Thomas Tsai, president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee. ''I think it's very regretable to get this result after six months of negotiations.''.

Reuters >

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