Cancellation of Taichung games unacceptable: Taiwan Olympic medalist
Jul 24, 2018CultureComments Off on Cancellation of Taichung games unacceptable: Taiwan Olympic medalist
Taipei, Chi Cheng (??), an Olympic medalist and president of the Hope Cultural and Educational Foundation, said Tuesday it was unacceptable that the first East Asia Youth Games, scheduled for Taichung in 2019, had been cancelled due to political pressure from China.
"I cannot accept any political intervention in any sports events," Chi said in a statement. "I cannot accept the revocation of Taichung's rights to hold the 2019 East Asia Youth Games without any good reason."
She said it was also unacceptable that any other country could prevent people in Taiwan from legally exercising their civil rights.
The decision was made Tuesday in Beijing at an extraordinary meeting of the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC), which reportedly was called by the Chinese representatives to discuss whether the Taichung event should be held as planned in August 2019.
The Chinese members reportedly raised the issue due to concern over a public campaign in Taiwan to hold a referendum on whether Taiwan should participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games under the name "Taiwan" rather than "Chinese Taipei," a moniker it has been forced to use in international competition.
Chi, a bronze medalist in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and one of the initiators of the referendum, said she was heartbroken over the decision to revoke Taichung's standing as host of the 2019 youth games.
Sports events always emphasize fairness and allow athletes to maximize their strength and ability, which is a fair and just principle, she said.
However, the EAOC has failed to observe that principle and instead has allowed invisible political forces to intervene in the sports event, which has cast shame on future East Asia Youth Games, Chi said.
It will be a difficult for people in the sports arena to accept the EAOC's decision, Chi said, adding that it was not fair for Taichung to be blocked from hosting the 2019 games due to political factors.
She said Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) and his administration have already put a lot of work into preparing for the 2019 games, have maintained good communication with the EAOC, and abided by the rules of the International Olympic Committee.
In Tuesday's EAOC extraordinary meeting, six of the eight committee members voted to revoke Taichung's status as host of the games.
Taiwan, an EAOC member, voted against the motion, while Japan abstained.
The EAOC is currently represented by Taiwan, China, South Korea, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Japan. (Lee Chin-wei and Frances Huang)
Comments Off on Taipei-Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau is promoting mountain tourism at the 4-day Taipei International Travel Fair that began Friday.
The bureau is focusing on five north-south mountain ranges — the Central Mountain, Xueshan, Yushan, Alishan and the Coastal Mountain ranges — in its pavilion at the fair, said bureau Deputy Director-General Chang Shi-chung (???).
Chang said there will be various exhibitions and forums on the mountains of Taiwan, as well as its unique cultural features such as historic trails and aboriginal lifestyles.
Taiwan is preparing to market 2020 as the Year of Mountain Tourism, after its efforts to position the country as an important international mountaineering destination in July, when the government allowed public access to the island’s national parks.
Previously, people who wanted to visit restricted “ecological protected areas” in Taiwan’s national parks had to apply for permits from both the National Police Agency and the Construction and Planning Agency.
Now, however, the Construction and Planning Agency has launched a new mountain permit application portal that requires mountain visitors to apply for only one permit and provides fast-track processing to expedite applications, the bureau said.
Much of Taiwan is covered by mountains, and it has 268 mountains of over 3,000 meters, according to the Tourism Bureau website.
That environment has made hiking and mountain climbing one of the favorite pastimes of Taiwan residents.
The number of permits issued to Taiwanese citizens and foreign nationals for access to trails in Yushan, Taroko and Shei Pa national parks has risen from 153,736 in 2016 to 187,053 in 2017 and 201,526 in 2018, according to Construction and Planning Agency figures.
In 2018, foreign nationals accounted for 7.24 percent of the permits issued.
There will be around 1,700 booths from 60 countries at the fair, to be held Nov. 8-11 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.
The fair, the largest of its kind in Taiwan, will feature South Korean and Japanese tourism operators amid growing local interest in travel to those countries.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel