U.K. parliamentary group backs Taichung for 2019 youth games

London, A pro-Taiwan British parliamentary group urged the East Asian Olympic Committees (EAOC) Wednesday to reinstate the right of Taichung to host the East Asian Youth Games (EAYG) in Taiwan next year as quickly as possible.

Member of Parliament Nigel Evans and Lord Rogan, deputy speaker in the House of Lords, made the call in a statement regarding the EAOC's decision to revoke Taichung's right to host the games.

"As the co-chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we are dismayed to learn that members of the East Asian Olympic Committees voted in an extraordinary council meeting in Beijing on 24 July to revoke the right of Taichung City to host the first-ever East Asian Youth Games in Taiwan from 24 to 31 August in 2019," the statement said.

Evans and Rogan contended that the move not only hurts the rights of the athletes from the region, but also goes against the Olympic spirit and breaches the EAOC's Constitution.

"This resolution not only ignores the rights of the 2,300 athletes and delegation members from the nine countries and regions in East Asia, but also violates the Olympic spirit that athletes from countries and regions around the world should conduct exchanges through fair competition. It also violates the EAOC's Constitution, which stipulates 'to promote the Olympic Movement in East Asia' as its mission," the statement said.

Furthermore, Taichung has over the past three years been in full gear to prepare for the games in line with the contract it signed with the EAOC, which failed to provide a reason behind its decision to revoke Taichung's hosting right, the statement noted.

"Moreover, the Taichung City government has always honored the Host city contract and has not been informed of any failures to fulfill any of its contractual obligations over the past three years. Also, the EAOC never mentioned what terms were allegedly violated in the letter sent to the Taichung City government on 25 July."

The world of sports has no borders, and athletic exchanges are the ideal venue to help different countries and peoples get to know each other and promote international harmony, the statement said.

"Since being awarded the hosting right in 2014, the Taichung City government has been preparing for the EAYG. With the date of the competition approaching, China's boycott to pressure the EAOC into passing a resolution to cancel the games is hasty and extremely unfair to the host city."

This serves as clear evidence that China's politically motivated bullying of Taiwan in the international community has extended to non-political fields, they warned in the statement.

"From the recent case of pressuring international airlines to change Taiwan's designation to this unfair resolution made by the EAOC, it is obvious that China's politically motivated pressure has expanded to non-political areas."

"Thus, in order to protect the rights of athletes as well as safeguard the Olympic spirit, there is a need for the EAOC Council to resolve this dispute with Taiwan through amicable consultation and resume the hosting right of Taichung City as soon as possible," they urged.

David Lin (???), Taiwan's representative to the United Kingdom, has conveyed his deep appreciation to Evans and Rogan and other members of the group for their long-term support of Taiwan in international society.

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) said Monday that he has submitted a petition to the EAOC, asking it to reinstate the city's right to host the games as scheduled next year.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel