Taipei, A proposed referendum initiated by civic organizations to have the national team compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name "Taiwan" would not in any way violate the Olympic Charter, an official of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) said Tuesday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told CNA that based on the relevant guidelines governing the Olympic movement, there were no restrictions against Taiwan holding a referendum on the issue.
The comment came in the wake of a decision Tuesday by the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) to revoke Taichung's standing as host of the first East Asian Youth Games in 2019.
The decision was announced following an EAOC council meeting earlier in the day in Beijing, at which EAOC Chairman Liu Peng (??) and six of the eight committee members voted out Taichung as the host city, reportedly based on "political factors."
Taiwan, an EAOC member, voted against the motion, while Japan abstained, according to the CTOC.
The EAOC is currently represented by Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea and Mongolia.
At a press conference later in the day, CTOC Vice President Tsai Tzu-chueh (???) said the Taiwanese public has the right to call for a referendum, although that it is not something in which the CTOC can participate or is advocating.
Tsai said the EAOC's decision was regrettable and he called on the Olympic committee not to sacrifice the rights of young athletes because of political interference, alluding to reports that China had engineered the vote.
The rights and interests of athletes who were planning to compete in the Taichung event have been badly damaged, Tsai said, adding that a reversal of the EAOC's decision was highly unlikely.
He declined, however, to comment on whether the referendum would infringe on the guidelines of the Olympic Charter.
Meanwhile, the Team Taiwan Campaign for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics also voiced strong protest against EAOC's decision to call off the Taichung event, saying that the referendum proposal is strictly an internal matter and does not concern the committee members in any way.
In a statement, the campaign team blasted China for what it called barbaric behavior and urged the EAOC members not to become accomplices.
Referendums are a normal part of democracy, the campaign team said, adding that a referendum on a name change, initiated by the public, should not be politicized by another nation.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel