International Olympic Committee

Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo says China 'understands' his IOC bid

Taiwanese world boxing chief is confident mainland officials will not oppose his ambitions to replace Jacques Rogge as president

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 May, 2013, 1:25pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 May, 2013, 5:20am

Taiwan's Wu Ching-kuo has said Chinese officials "fully understand" his bid to lead the powerful International Olympic Committee (IOC) and would not oppose it in line with broader policies on the island.

The world boxing chief, who last week announced his candidacy to succeed IOC president Jacques Rogge, said he was confident that his long personal history with China would make this a case of "sport over politics".

China opposes international recognition of the island and has blocked its membership of global bodies such as the United Nations. Taiwan competes at the Olympics and other events under "Chinese Taipei".

But Wu, 66, said: "Taiwan and China enjoy a very good relationship. Personally I was the first Taiwanese sports leader to visit China in 1989 and I supported Beijing in their successful bid to host the 2008 Olympic Games.

"I was born in China and moved from there to Taiwan with my parents at the age of one-and-a-half. This [candidacy] should be a case of sports over politics."

Wu added: "China recognises my 25 years' service to the IOC and they fully understand the situation."

Chinese support could be important for Wu as he bids to become the first Asian leader of the IOC, which controls the awarding and running of the summer and winter Olympic Games.

Wu, leader of the International Amateur Boxing Association (AIBA), is up against Singapore's Ng Ser Miang, Switzerland's Denis Oswald, Puerto Rico's Richard Carrion and Thomas Bach of Germany, the perceived front runner. Former pole vaulter Sergei Bubka announced his candidacy yesterday.

Wu has been praised for his seven-year tenure at AIBA where he fought corruption, introduced women's boxing to the Olympics and delivered what was likely to be the sport's best Olympic contest yet in London.

The former basketball player is also a prominent architect who has designed three Olympic museums, two of them in China, including one that he inaugurated in Tianjin last month. He praised the legacy of previous IOC presidents, but said it was time for a new vision and direction.

Rogge, who has reached the 12-year term limit, will be replaced at the IOC general session in Buenos Aires in September.

If elected, Wu said cracking down on doping and illegal gambling - closely related to match-fixing - would be his main priorities, as well as instilling "Olympic values" in the world's children.

"We are facing two great challenges in doping and illegal gambling," he said.

"The question is how to solve these issues. When we are young it is our parents who teach us morals and principles and I would like a presidency under me to instil Olympic values into children as well.

"Namely how to compete fairly and to respect one's rivals. In my mind tackling problems when they arise and sanctioning infractions is already too late, Wu said."

He added that he would even seek to have governments introduce Olympic education into the curriculums of primary schools.