Wu Ching-kuo, Taiwan's only candidate for the International Olympic Committee presidency. (Photo/Cheng Jen-nan)
Wu Ching-kuo, Taiwan's only hopeful for the International Olympic Committee presidency, said on Thursday that the race is not based on ethnicity.
"The world's most influential sports organization is neutral and detached, and it does not exclude or shut out anyone for his political, regional or even ethnic background, which is in line with the Olympic spirit of fair play," Wu told reporters during an interview.
In response to a question regarding the fact that all IOC presidents to date have been either from Europe or the US, with Asians having little chance of winning the race, Wu said in rebuttal that the IOC president is the world's sports leader and "everyone is equal."
"We have to view this matter from a higher perspective. This is a job about providing services, not grasping power," the 66-year-old pointed out.
It is one's experience, capability and executive power that should be taken into consideration, he said.
Twenty-five years of experience as an IOC member and the past seven years of leadership at the International Boxing Association have made him a suitable candidate, Wu said, adding that he has revived and reformed the sport since he started leading the group of 190-plus members in 2006.
Wu was a member of the IOC's International Olympic Academy, Cultural Commission, and Olympic Games Study Commission. Last May, he was elected to the 15-member IOC Executive Board, the decision-making body of the Olympic movement.
Jacques Rogge of Belgium, the incumbent IOC president, will finish his 12-year term this year. An election to find a replacement will be held at an IOC session in early September in Buenos Aires.
Six candidates have come forward to succeed the Belgian, including IOC vice presidents Thomas Bach of Germany and Ng Ser Miang of Singapore, as well as Richard Carrion from Puerto Rico, Denis Oswald from Switzerland and Sergey Bubka of Ukraine.
Each of the six candidates is scheduled to deliver a 15-minute speech at an extraordinary session in Lausanne in Switzerland on July 4.