Wed, Jul 25, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Cabinet condemns ‘barbaric means’ used by China

By Shelley Shan, Ann Maxon and Sean Lin  /  Staff reporters

The Executive Yuan yesterday denounced China for pressuring the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) into revoking Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games.

“China has allowed politics to hamper athletic development and resorted to barbaric means to spoil preparations for an international sports competition,” it said in a statement.

“As young athletes from all over the Asia-Pacific region look to showcase their skills on the international stage, the promotion of exchanges and development in the sports sector should be the only agenda,” it said.

“This behavior indicates that China is not a civilized country, but a troublemaker in the international community,” it added.

“Not only has China’s arbitrary behavior sparked pushback among Taiwanese, it will certainly not win the support of the international community,” Premier William Lai (賴清德) said.

Lai said he has instructed the Sports Administration to give its full support to the Taichung City Government and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) in lodging a formal protest with the EAOC and restoring the city’s right to host the Games, thereby defending the nation’s dignity.

The Sports Administration said in a statement that the EAOC’s decision was “unacceptable.”

“We hope that the committee will reconsider its decision,” the agency said, offering its assistance to the city government and the CTOC in appealing the decision to reinstate the Games.

It is regrettable that the EAOC canceled the Games by revoking Taichung’s right to host the event, the CTOC told a news conference in Taipei.

A political group in Taiwan has been seeking to challenge the “Olympic model” by promoting a referendum to change the national team’s name to “Taiwan” from “Chinese Taipei,” which would expose the Games to political risk, EAOC chairman Liu Peng (劉鵬) said.

“Young people could have a sports event held exclusively for them for the first time,” CTOC vice chairman Tsai Szu-chueh (蔡賜爵) quoted CTOC chairman Eric Lin (林鴻道) as saying.

The referendum campaign was launched by private citizens, and was neither supported nor encouraged by the government, Lin told the EAOC.

The group that launched the petition said it is simply asking authorities to allow Taiwanese to apply to compete under a different name in accordance with the Olympic Charter, the group said.

The referendum is a domestic affair and must not be interfered with by foreign political powers, it added, urging the EAOC to not be complicit in China’s oppressive actions against Taiwan.

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