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Taiwan condemns politically motivated cancellation of East Asian Youth Games

  • China's pressure on Taiwan advances beyond politics, this time it intrudes into the field of sport.
    Taiwan President Ms Tsai, Ing-wen, during a hearing at the Presidential Palace, condemned China's pressure on EAOC for the "shameless and crude meddling of politics in sports" China's pressure on Taiwan advances beyond politics, this time it intrudes into the field of sport.
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Cancellation of the games at this late stage marks the latest move in Beijing’s campaign to suppress Taiwan’s international space and advance its agenda through exerting pressure in nonpolitical arenas, the Office of the President said. The office called on the international community to recognize the harm China’s conduct poses to the stability, security and well-being of international society.

China’s politically motivated pressure on the East Asian Olympic Committee to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games in central Taiwan’s Taichung City was condemned in the strongest possible terms July 24 by the Office of the President.
 
This move represents political meddling in sports, the Office of the President said, adding that China’s irrational behavior and the EAOC’s erroneous decision are extremely regrettable.
 
According to the Office of the President, athletic events provide the ideal venue for cross-cultural communication and exchanges. China’s actions ignore the rights of all the young competitors preparing for the games, are unacceptable to the people of Taiwan, and will be met with the disapproval of sports enthusiasts around the globe, the office said.
 
Cancellation of the games at this late stage marks the latest move in Beijing’s campaign to suppress Taiwan’s international space and advance its agenda through exerting pressure in nonpolitical arenas, the Office of the President said. The office called on the international community to recognize the harm China’s conduct poses to the stability, security and well-being of international society.
 
The same day, the Cabinet also strongly denounced China’s interference in the EAOC resulting in the revocation of Taichung’s right to host the games. Beijing’s sabotaging of the competition damages regional sports development for political gain, the Cabinet said.
 
Athletic competition and exchanges should be the sole considerations in the staging of such an event, the Cabinet said, adding that China’s actions trample on Taichung’s hard work and undermine the rights of all participating nations.
 
Premier Lai Ching-te instructed the Sports Administration under the Ministry of Education to extend full support to Taichung City Government and the nation’s Olympic committee as they lodge a formal protest with the EAOC, the Cabinet said.
 
Also July 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council and TCG issued statements condemning China’s interference in the event.
 
According to the MOFA, this behavior is not conducive to the peaceful development of cross-strait ties. Calling on like-minded countries to stand together and check such negative actions, the ministry said that China’s success in canceling the games serves as a stark warning to other parties of what lies ahead if they refuse to kowtow to Beijing.
 
The MAC described China’s behavior as a clear violation of the principles of the Olympic Charter. Echoing this position, TCG said that the decision, taken to forward China’s political agenda, strips not only Taichung’s right to host the event, but also athletes’ right to compete.
 
According to the SA, the central government, TCG and the nation’s Olympic committee have operated in full compliance with EAOC regulations since Taichung won the right to host the games in 2014. Taichung has to date invested about NT$670 million (US$20.5 million) on preparations, including the construction of world-class facilities, in line with its commitment to provide the best competitive environment and reception for all participants, the local government said.
 
The East Asian Youth Games are the successor to the East Asian Games, which were held every four years from 1993 to 2013, with the last edition taking place in Tianjin, China. Set for August 2019, the youth games were expected to draw over 2,300 athletes from the nine EAOC members—Taiwan, China, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea. (KWS-E)