Fireworks at the newly inaugurated 40,000-seat main stadium for the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung light up the sky as the Games opened last night. But an official from China's Olympic Committee told the Central News Agency that the Chinese delegation was due to arrive in Taiwan Thursday evening.
Outside the Main Stadium, many supporters of Taiwan independence and Tibetans exiles shouted slogans and distributed leaflets, denouncing China's suppression of Taiwan and calling for free Tibet and Human Rights in Tibet.
Taiwan pro-independence and Tibet independence groups staged a peaceful demonstration outside the stadium with carrying the Tibetan flags. The president of TYC Taiwan Tashi Tsering said, people in Tibet are still under the heavy crackdowns and Chinese brutal policy "It is a very good and happy day, we do not forget Tibet in Taiwan. In Tibet, human rights situation has not changed over decades, people do not have freedom, and so many killings happen,but the Chinese communist regime has always said there is a lot changes in Tibet, but actually there is no human rights and freedom." he added.
On 12 July, thousands of Tibet supporters gathered in Taipei for a marathon concert organized by civic groups as part of a series of activities to commemorate the 1959 uprising in Tibet. Chanting "Free Tibet" and "Long live H.H the Dalai Lama," the crowd waved banners and Tibetan national flags.
The World Games, held every four years, feature sports that are not included in the Olympic Games. They include martial arts, artistic roller skating, life-saving, body building, billiards and tug-of-war.
About 4,800 athletes from 92 countries are expected to attend the World Games, which will last for 10 days.
Kaohsiung won the right to host the World Games in 2006 and has spent millions of dollars to build and renovate competition venues.
Through diplomatic manoeuvrings, the US-based International World Games Association (IWGA) last week agreed to allow Ma to open the games and to let Taiwan spectators hold Taiwan's national flags, which is banned at other Olympic-related sports events.