Mon, Oct 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers criticize Chinese Taipei Olympic group

By Chung Li-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) was strongly criticized by two lawmakers on Saturday, while committee members defended its actions.

The lack of a response from the committee after Taichung lost the hosting rights for the East Asian Youth Games, as well as its organizing trips to China, has demeaned the nation and tacitly condoned Chinese oppression, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said.

The East Asian Olympic Committee on July 25 announced that it was revoking Taichung’s rights to host the Games in August next year, citing Chinese concerns over efforts for the nation’s team to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 to use the name “Taiwan” instead of “Chinese Taipei.”

An Aug. 1 to 8 trip that the CTOC organized for representatives from 14 schools and the Sports Administration to visit Shenyang, China, had been meaningless, as a report by the Sports Administration clearly showed, Huang said.

“With athletes on provincial teams on a separate training regimen while others are competing, we are unable to compare the groups and how they implement ideas, making the efficacy of this venture difficult to measure,” the report said.

The CTOC’s failure to protest China’s oppression and that it went ahead with the China trip just days after the announcement that Taichung had lost the rights to the Youth Games truly harmed the people of this nation, the DPP lawmaker said.

“We support cross-strait sports interactions, but we cannot let down our guard and unwittingly become a tool for China’s united front tactics,” he said.

New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the CTOC should recognize its limits.

“China keeps pushing the limits because the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee failed to stand up to Beijing during talks on the Youth Games, instead seeking to preserve cross-strait interactions, and it continued visits to China after Taichung was stripped of its hosting rights,” Hsu said.

“The committee should know its limits. It is not the Mainland Affairs Council and cannot dictate cross-strait relations,” Hsu said.

CTOC deputy secretary-general Lee Yu-fang (李玉芳) said the Olympic committees on both sides of the Taiwan Strait have maintained exchanges since 1989, and the visit to Shenyang had already been planned and should not have been affected by the Youth Games decision.

When asked why the visit was not delayed as a protest, some committee members said on condition of anonymity that to protest would have led to the cessation of annual exchanges.

Sports Administration official Hung Chih-chang (洪志昌) said the visits were routine interactions and there was no harm in coaches learning in China.

“If the visits were to stop, it would impinge on the coaches’ rights,” Hung said.

Cross-strait interaction is the result of ties between the committees on each side, and should not be considered part of “united front” efforts, Lee said.

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