Taiwan must speak out against China’s suppression: Taichung mayor
Jul 30, 2018CultureComments Off on Taiwan must speak out against China’s suppression: Taichung mayor
Taipei, Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (???) said Monday that the world's attention must be drawn to China "ubiquitous suppression" of Taiwan, as evidenced by the revocation of his city's rights to host a regional sports event.
"If we don't speak up, our voices won't be heard in the international community," Lin said. "Even if the decision cannot be changed, we need to get more people to understand the truth."
Lin made the appeal at an international press conference in Taipei after lodging a formal complaint earlier in the day with the East Asian Olympic Committees (EAOC) over its recent decision to cancel the East Asian Youth Games in Taichung.
The EAOC announced the decision after China called an extraordinary meeting of its members on July 24 in Beijing and initiated a vote to cancel the games, reportedly over concerns about a proposed referendum on whether the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei" should be used at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and other international sports events.
Referring to China's actions as "ubiquitous suppression" of Taiwan, Lin confirmed that a set of plans has been drawn up, in consultation with the National Security Council, to restore the hosting rights to Taichung.
The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) has also filed a separate petition with the EAOC over the matter, he said.
"We will exhaust all possible legal remedies to the injustice," Lin said, when asked what would be the next step if EAOC rejected the appeals.
He flatly rejected the question of whether the petitions would stand a better chance if Taiwanese Olympic medalist Chi Cheng (??), a key figure in promoting the referendum, was removed as an advisor to the Taichung committee for the youth games.
A referendum proposal, initiated by citizens in accordance with the nation's laws, should not be used as a pretext to block Taiwan from hosting the games, Lin said.
In a democratic country, it is normal for the people to demonstrate their views through referendums, Lin said, adding that China's actions showed its lack of understanding and fear of Taiwan's democracy.
Taiwan must speak out against this "highly unjust, unfair and crude treatment" by China on every front, he said.
"It was not an isolated occurrence," Lin said. "We need to be united in our efforts to fight for our rights and to let the international community know that China is the inflictor. What happened to Taichung today could happen to any other city in Taiwan. What happened to Taiwan today could happen to other nations."
He said it was China that was using its political power to undermine the Olympics spirit of keeping sports separate from politics and should be blamed and made to bear the consequences, rather than the people of Taiwan who have democratic rights.
"If we blame our own citizens who are simply exercising the rights they are entitled to in a democratic country, we risk subjecting our democratic way of life to (China's) distortion, interpretation, and interference to its advantage," Lin said.
Responding to a reporter's question, he said he would be willing to visit Beijing to negotiate the case if China agreed to that.
Also on Monday, CTOC secretary-general Jacqueline Shen (???), said the committee had filed a petition with the EAOC, seeking negotiations on the matter.
A copy of the petition was also sent to each EAOC member, urging them to reconsider the "unreasonable decision" and to allow Taichung to host the games as planned, she said.
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