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Politics

Beijing forces cancellation of Taiwanese sports event

China seen to be ramping up pressure on the island to accept 'One China' principle

Taichung east asian youth games
Seven of nine committee members for the East Asian Youth Games backed China's measure to cancel the event.

TAIPEI -- The inaugural East Asian Youth Games scheduled for August next year in the city of Taichung were canceled on Tuesday due to strong opposition from China.

The international sports competition would have been the first event organized by Olympics-related bodies to be held in Taiwan.

Event committee members from nine countries and regions -- including Japan, China and South Korea -- held an impromptu meeting and approved China's cancellation proposal by a majority of votes.

Taiwan's government released a statement, saying that "China has hurt the development of sports for political gain."

According to local media reports, Beijing was angered over efforts by pro-independence political groups to have the island represented as "Taiwan" at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In accordance with the "One China" principle, Taiwan has participated in international sports competitions under the name of "Chinese Taipei," and had planned to do the same at the canceled event.

Beijing appears be tightening its grip over the island. At the meeting, China and six other member nations and regions voted to call off the event. Only Chinese Taipei, which represents Taiwan, opposed the measure, while Japan abstained.

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