The East Asian Olympic Committee yesterday announced that it has revoked Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games due to “political factors” after the city had already spent nearly NT$677 million (US$22.04 million) on preparations for the event.
The government denounced what it called China’s “barbaric” interference in the committee.
The decision was made at a provisional committee meeting in Beijing yesterday, reportedly due to pressure from China, which is unhappy about a referendum proposal to rename Taiwan’s national sports team from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The committee is comprised of representatives from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Japan and Guam.
All members except Taiwan and Japan voted against Taichung retaining the right to host the Games, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Taiwan voted in favor of Taichung hosting the event, while Japan abstained, it said.
Taichung in October 2014 won the bid to host the Games, which would have been the first within the Olympic family hosted by Taiwan. They were preceded by the East Asian Games, which in 2013 transformed into a youth sports event.
The Taichung City Government said that since winning the bid, it has poured NT$677 million into planning and building facilities for the Games, in which nearly 2,300 athletes from nine nations were expected to participate.
Calling the decision regrettable, the city government urged the committee to refrain from sacrificing the rights of athletes due to political interference.
“Doing so not only runs counter to the Olympic spirit and sporting ethics, but also nullifies all of the efforts young athletes and Taichung residents have invested in the Games,” the city government said in a statement, adding that it would take the case to the international community.
The Presidential Office also expressed strong regret over the decision and Beijing’s irrational behavior.
“Sports transcend borders and are conducive to fostering mutual understanding among people from different nations and of different ethnicities. They are the best catalyst for the promotion of harmony in the international community,” it said.
The decision showed that the committee did not take the Games seriously and was subjecting Taichung to extremely unfair treatment, it added.
The ministry said it was infuriated by the decision and the damage China has caused to sporting events and exchanges for political reasons.
It said that upon learning that China was interfering with Taichung’s right to host the Games, it immediately instructed its overseas representative offices in Japan, South Korea, Mongolia and Palau — which also oversees affairs in Guam — to lobby for the city to retain the Games.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to stop China’s brutal actions, but we appreciate Japan’s support,” the ministry said, urging China to leave politics out of sporting events and calling on like-minded nations to make a joint effort to stop Beijing’s destructive behavior.
Additional reporting by CNA
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of
PRIORITY: The 117,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are to be distributed first to front-line healthcare workers who are most at risk of infection, the center said The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines — 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca drug — arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said. The vaccines were flown to Taiwan by Korean Air and arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 10:21am, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “After being cleared by customs, the vaccines have been transported to a designated cold storage center,” Chen said. “The vaccines are in multidose vials containing 10 doses per bottle, and are being stored in a refrigerated environment of 2°C to 8°C,” he said. AstraZeneca provided the