China’s suppression of Taiwan will draw backlash: Premier Lai

Taipei, China's suppression of Taiwan will not serve its end but will only provoke backlash in the international community, Premier Lai Ching-te (???) said Thursday.

Speaking after a weekly Cabinet meeting, Lai said China's actions are intended to bully the Taiwan government and destroy the people's confidence as a means of forcing Taiwan to accept the "one China principle."

"But those offensive acts aimed at Taiwan will be useless and will make it increasingly hard for China to maneuver in the world, because it will spur greater unity among the Taiwan people and sound alarms in the international community," he said.

China will continue to bully Taiwan, no matter which party is in power in Taiwan, Lai said, calling on all the political parties to come together to defend Taiwan's overall interests so as to win the people's trust and support.

He was commenting on Tuesday's decision by the East Asian Olympic Committees (EAOC) to cancel the East Asian Youth Games, which were scheduled to take place in Taichung in August next year, as a result of Beijing's intervention due to political factors.

China's Taiwan Affairs Office confirmed Wednesday that the development was related to a campaign for a proposed referendum in Taiwan that seeks to have the island take part in international sporting events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, under the name "Taiwan" rather than "Chinese Taipei," which was authorized by the International Olympic Committee in 1981 and has been used since then.

"On behalf of the Executive Yuan, I hereby lodge a stern protest against Beijing's political intervention in sporting events, which totally ignores the rights of the athletes and is not acceptable to Taiwan's people or the international community," Lai said.

He said he has instructed the Ministry of Education to devise countermeasures and help Taichung appeal the EAOC's decision to cancel the games.

Over the past three years, Taiwan has spent NT$670 million (US$21.87 million) in preparation for the event, which was expected to draw 2,300 athletes aged 14-18 from nine countries and areas.

The EAOC's cancellation of Taichung's right to host the games was the latest in a series of actions by China against Taiwan, which included forcing scores of multinationals, particularly foreign aviation companies, to change Taiwan's designation on their websites, luring some of Taiwan's scant diplomatic allies, and blocking Taiwan from attending the annual World Health Assembly this year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel