Sun, Aug 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Beijing cries foul over anthem at Japan sports meet

AP , BEIJING

China has lodged a formal protest with Japan over the playing of the Taiwanese national anthem at an Olympic basketball qualifying tournament in the Japanese city of Tokushima, the Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

A Japanese diplomat in Beijing was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Friday and received a "stern representation" over the incident, Xinhua said.

"China expresses strong protest and demands the Japanese side to immediately take effective measures to remove this vile influence and avoid similar events from happening again," the report said.

It wasn't clear when the anthem was played.

Taiwan's national anthem is banned in China and its performance is strongly discouraged in Hong Kong.

Taiwanese singer Chang Hui-mei (張惠妹) -- better known as A-mei -- was blacklisted in China for several years after she performed the anthem at President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) presidential inauguration in 2000.

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