China free to decide whether to attend Universiade opening: Cabinet

Taipei-- Taiwan respects China's decision on whether to attend the Aug. 19 opening ceremony of the 2017 Universiade in Taipei, a Cabinet spokesman said on Thursday.

The government cannot compel Beijing to attend the event, Hsu Kuo-yung (???) said at a press conference held after a weekly Cabinet meeting, in response to reports that China has decided not to take part.

According to Sports Administration Director-General Lin De-fu (???), China has registered to send a 195-member delegation, including 113 athletes and 82 staff members, to the Universiade.

Asked if spectators will be allowed to display the national flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan), he said all banners and posters will be permitted as long as they are no larger than 1 meter by 2 meters.

However, he declined to respond when asked whether Taiwanese athletes would march carrying Republic of China flags.

Meanwhile, Deputy Interior Minister Chiu Chang-yueh (???) said that to maintain security during the Universiade, a central security command center will be set up on Aug. 12, the same day the athlete's village is officially opened.

More than 10,000 police officers, Central Police University students and firefighters as well as volunteer police and firefighters will be mobilized, he said.

According to the Ministry of Education, the 2017 Universiade will be the largest-ever multi-sport event hosted in Taiwan, bringing together 11,397 representatives from 131 countries, including 7,639 athletes.

During the Cabinet meeting, Premier Lin Chuan (??) said the government attaches great importance to the Universiade and contributed NT$7.4 billion (US$245 million) to help Taipei organize the event.

Related government agencies will also provide all possible assistance, he said. For example, The Ministry of Culture will facilitate the 4K ultra-high definition broadcast of the opening and closing ceremonies, while Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp. will provide free WiFi services on its trains, he added.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel