Taiwan: We'll Take Tibet's Torch over China's Any Day!

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Monday July 07, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

The fate of the Olympic Torch has been superceded in the international press by the Sichuan earthquake and other problems that China is facing as it tries to reduce pollution for the Olympics. But another torch is going around and it made its symbolic presence known in Taiwan on July 6th. That torch is the Tibetan Freedom Torch which began on March 10 the 49th anniversary of the failed Tibetan uprising for freedom from China. This torch has passed through 30 cities in 18 countries around the world before coming to Taiwan.

What makes the Tibetan Freedom Torch so interesting is not just its parallel journey to the Olympic Torch but there is the added fact that Taiwan rejected the Olympic Torch because China wanted to use it for political purposes to humiliate Taiwan's sovereignty. On the other hand, Taiwan has had no problem welcoming the Tibetan Torch as a symbol of freedom. On July 6th a group of Tibetans and human rights supporters took the torch up to the top of Yushan (Jade Mountain) Taiwan's highest peak again paralleling the China Torch being brought to the top of Mount Everest. From Taiwan, the Tibetan Freedom Torch will go to Uruguay and India. Eventually they hope to bring it to Tibet the day before the Olympic games open in Beijing. There is always something interesting on this island country of Taiwan.