China Times: Let the world see Taiwan's love

2017/07/09 18:45:01 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

The torch for this year's summer Universiade was lit in Turin, Italy on June 20 and reached the top of Jade Mountain, Taiwan's highest peak on July 7. It is now being carried around the country along a route that spells out the letters L-O-V-E to drum up support for the Aug. 19-30 event.

Is Taiwan ready to welcome more than 30,000 World University Games athletes and staff and 200,000 foreign visitors? It seems not yet, with members of the public expressing apparent disinterest, as if the international sporting event held in the capital city is none of their business. We humbly contend that this sporting occasion is Taiwan's "showtime" and very much worth our whole-hearted attention.

If both the government and the people remain bogged down in politics, such as the controversy over the construction of the Taipei Dome Complex, it is Taiwan that ultimately loses out.

Indeed, recalling all the negative news reports about the Taipei Dome, flooding at the tennis courts, poor facilities in the athletes' village and inadequate contingency plan for typhoons, it is incumbent upon us to ask when the foreign athletes and visitors leave what will be their impression of Taiwan - will it be a series of uncaring faces?

However, there is still time to turn things around, first by showing the world that once these young athletes check into their rooms, they will be served wonderful meals by enthusiastic able-bodied and physically challenged volunteers who signed up to assist with the Universiade. This will ensure that their first impression of Taiwan is a place of warmth and kindness that cherishes and respects everyone in society.

We can and must also put in place a comprehensive contingency measures for crisis management, as Beijing did in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games and Rio for the 2016 summer Olympics. We can also learn from the experience of Koreans who staged the last Universiade in Gwangju in 2015, when a MERS scare caused considerable concern.

Japan is gearing up for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo by showing off its high-tech products.

Taiwan may not have dazzling technology like Japan or the ability to mobilize on the same scale as China, but Taiwan's number one attraction is its people.

Not only the residents of Taipei, the host city, but every one of Taiwan's 23 million people should play their role as warm and kind hosts. Enthusiastically taking part and selflessly helping out participants in the 2017 Universiade sends a message to the rest of the world - Taiwan is home to boundless love. (Editorial abstract -- July 9, 2017)

(By S.C. Chang)

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