The Office of the President issued the following statement regarding China's pressure on the East Asian Olympic Committees (EAOC) to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games to be hosted by the central Taiwan city of Taichung:
1. We feel that the EAOC's decision to cancel the 2019 East Asian Youth Games to be hosted by the city of Taichung is brazen and crude political meddling in sports. China's irrational behavior and the EAOC's wrong decision are extremely regrettable, and Taiwan condemns China's behavior in the strongest possible terms.
2. The world of sport has no borders, and athletic exchanges are the most ideal venue to help different countries and ethnic peoples get to know each other and promote international harmony. The East Asian Youth Games are an important international sports competition in Asia where for many years, thousands of competitors from various countries have given their all competing for honor and glory. The 2019 edition of the East Asian Youth Games has been planned for years, and China's boycott at this time ignores the rights of all the young competitors. This is unacceptable to the people of Taiwan, and will be met with the disapproval of sports enthusiasts around the globe.
3. The Taichung City Government obtained the rights to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games in 2014. To prepare for this international sporting event, for almost four years the government at all levels and the private sector in Taiwan have been fully committed to ensuring that the athletes and guests from various countries will enjoy the best possible competitive environment and reception. The date of the competition is fast approaching, so China's boycott to pressure the EAOC into passing a resolution to cancel the Games is hasty and ill-considered, and extremely unfair to the Taichung City Government that has been preparing for so long.
4. For many years China's government has repeatedly used every means at its disposal, including interference in the internal affairs of various countries, to limit our space for international participation and the international survival and development of our people. That includes diplomatic suppression of all kinds, pressuring international airlines to change Taiwan's designation, and interfering with privately sponsored art activities for children. In recent years, China has even subjected sports events like the 2016 Paralympics for competitors with disabilities, and now the 2019 East Asian Youth Games, to the same cruel interference. To fully protect the rights and interests of our citizens, our government absolutely will not concede easily, and will support the Taichung City Government in continuing to fight for its rights. At the same time, we call on international society to take this kind of international conduct by China seriously, and recognize the severe harm it poses to the stability, security, and well-being of international society.