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Taichung stripped of right to host East Asian Youth Games in Taiwan due to Chinese pressure

Taichung started preparations three years ago and had allocated NT$676 million for the event

A venue for the 2019 East Asian Youth Games (Screen capture from Taichung East Asian Youth Games Facebook page)

A venue for the 2019 East Asian Youth Games (Screen capture from Taichung East Asian Youth Games Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The 2019 East Asian Youth Games (EAYG) will no longer be held in Taichung due to manipulations by China to revoke the decision made almost four years ago which designated Taichung as the host city.

The East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) held an impromptu meeting at the request of China on Tuesday morning during which committee members, including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and EAOC Chairman Liu Peng (劉鵬), who is a Chinese-national, voted to rescind Taichung City’s awarded status and right to act as host for the international competitions.

Only Chinese Taipei, which represents Taiwan, voted in opposition to the measure, while Japan abstained, and Guam, being an observer, was not eligible to vote.

Reports say the revocation is a punishment because China has been angered by a referendum proposed by Taiwan’s civil groups on replacing the current name of the national team, “Chinese Taipei,” with “Taiwan” for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

According to the Taichung City Government, NT$676 million (about US$21.8 million) has been allocated towards planning the event and building facilities over the past three years.

After the city government said it would protest to the international community in hope of reversing EAOC’s decision, Taiwan’s Presidential Office released a grave statement in the afternoon, criticizing Beijing’s interference in the international sporting event as “childish”.

The office condemned China for using its political power to influence the EAOC and said that Taiwanese people would never accept such foul and mean-spirited acts.

The statement also emphasized that the government will not easily give in and will support the Taichung City Government in appealing the decision.