aiwan was dealt yet another blow this week, being stripped of the right to host the East Asian Youth Games (EAYG) next year after Beijing managed to work its magic yet again.
Four years ago, the city of Taichung was chosen to host the 2019 games. Taiwan News reports that NT$676 million ($22 million) of funds were allocated toward planning for the event and building facilities. The games were scheduled to open in Taichung on August 24th, 2019.
However, it appears that will no longer be the case. On Tuesday morning, the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) held an impromptu meeting at China’s request. At the meeting, committee members from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea, as well as the chairman of the EAOC, a Chinese citizen, all voted to rescind’s Taichung’s right to act as the host for international competitions.
Only Chinese Taipei, Taiwan’s designated name for international sporting events, voted against the measure, while Japan abstained from the vote.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has said that the move to bar Taichung from hosting international sporting events comes in response to a referendum proposed by pro-independence supporters in Taiwan that is aimed at doing away with the “Chinese Taipei” moniker for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and insisting on being allowed to compete under the name of Taiwan.
Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson An Fengshan declared that such a referendum would go against the “one China policy” and the “Olympic model,” bringing unwanted political disturbances to the games.
“We have always opposed political intervention in sports and have voiced our resolute opposition against such ‘referendum’ provocations multiple times,” An said.
Meanwhile, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has called China’s interference “childish,” declaring that her administration will support Taichung in appealing the EAOC’s decision up to the International Olympic Committee. In a tweet, Tsai said that Taiwan was now like “the canary in the coal mine of China’s rise.”
Cancellation of the 2019 #EastAsianYouthGames on #China's orders isn't acceptable to #Taiwan people. I support #Taichung & the National Olympic Committee in righting this wrong. Global solidarity is needed more than ever, as Taiwan is the canary in the coal mine of China’s rise.
— 蔡英文 Tsai Ing-wen (@iingwen) July 24, 2018