Taichung mails petition for East Asian Youth Games hosting right

Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung said, "If we don't speak up, our voices won't be heard in the international community."

Taipei, July 30 (CNA)-Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said Monday that he has mailed a petition seeking the recovery of the city’s right to host the East Asian Youth Games next year to the chairman and all other standing members of the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC).

He did so in his capacity as mayor of the host city and president of the Taichung East Asian Youth Games Organizing Committee, Lin said, noting that in addition to his petition, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee will also submit its own petition.

“Let us fight together for our rights,” Lin said.

Lin explained that the EAOC’s decision to revoke Taichung’s standing as host of the 2019 East Asian Youth Games — the first of its kind — has violated the city’s rights and interests substantially and procedurally.

The city was not informed in advance of the EAOC’s extraordinary meeting last week, nor was it invited to attend the meeting, Lin argued.

Moreover, the EAOC gave no explanation for its decision, Lin said.

In a letter dated July 25, EAOC President Liu Peng (劉鵬) of China wrote only that it was decided at the extraordinary meeting in Beijing July 24 to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.

“According to the decision, the Host City Contract for the 1st East Asian Youth Games in 2019 shall be nullified as of today,” said the letter.

At the Beijing meeting, attended by all eight standing EAOC members, a vote was called by China’s representative due to political factors related to a public campaign in Taiwan for a proposed referendum on whether Taiwan should participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as “Taiwan” rather than its standard Olympic name of “Chinese Taipei.”

Six members (China, South Korea, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Macau and North Korea) voted in favor of calling off the Taichung games, while Taiwan voted against and Japan abstained.

The cancellation sparked widespread protests in Taiwan and a strong objection from Taichung, which Lin said has spent nearly NT$677 million (US$22.1 million) on preparation for the games.

Lin criticized the cancellation for depriving not only young Taiwanese athletes but also athletes from other countries and areas of the right to attend the regional games. He also blasted the EAOC decision as “brutish.”

“This is an unfair game. Some people play both the roles of player and judge, who announce the end of a game before it has even taken place,” Lin complained.