China Snubs World University Games Opening Ceremony In Taiwan
Mainland China boycotted the opening ceremony of the World University Games hosted by Taiwan on Saturday in the "latest reflection of deteriorating relations between the two sides," according to the AFP. The biennial Summer Universiade, dubbed the “Little Olympics,” is the largest sporting event Taipei has hosted. It is the first time Taiwan has held the Games, but even on home turf it must compete as "Chinese Taipei" and is "unable to fly its national flag or play its national anthem because of Beijing’s sensitivities." Relations have deteriorated since Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in May last year, with Beijing "cutting off all official communications" (AFP, 8/20).
PROTESTS: REUTERS' Faith Hung reported opening ceremonies at Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade were "temporarily disrupted on Saturday by protesters who blocked the student athletes from participating in the parade of nations." The protesters were "demonstrating against reforms in Taiwan's pension system for government employees and teachers." Most of the 7,700 athletes invited to the games did not get the chance to march, as police reportedly "feared navigating through crowds of protesters would not be safe" (REUTERS, 8/19).