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Home The News News Taiwan group barred from French event due to China

Taiwan group barred from French event due to China

An overseas Taiwanese association is seeking public support after it was denied access to a cultural festival set to be held in September in Lyon, France, because of pressure from China.

The Association Culturelle des Taiwanais de Lyon (ACTL), which promotes Taiwan globally, said that the organizer of the Fete des Bannieres du Monde — the festival of world banners — denied its application to participate after Chinese participants threatened to withdraw if Taiwan was allowed entry.

ACTL chairwoman Yang Pei-yu (楊佩瑜) said she was surprised to learn about the rejection, as the event is perceived to have nothing to do with politics.

Participants attend the Fete des Bannieres du Monde in Lyon, France, last year.

Photo: Screen grab from Comite des Fetes de la Ville de Lyon’s Facebook page

“We are seeking to resort to public opinion,” Yang said, adding that the association is reaching out to French media to ensure its voice is heard.

The ACTL first wrote to the organizer in October last year to ask about the application procedure, and was asked to wait until discussions between last year’s and this year’s event committee members had taken place, the association said.

However, the ACTL said it did not receive a clear response from the organizer despite trying to seek clarification multiple times since January.

It was not until the end of last month that the organizer finally responded, explaining that during discussions, Chinese participants had pressured them into blocking the ACTL, it said.

Similar interference from China also occurred last year, the ACTL said, adding that the organization had not officially registered for the event, but was stopped by Chinese festivalgoers when members tried to display Taiwan’s national flag.

The Chinese attendees threatened to call the police, the ACTL said, adding the organizer asked the association to remove the flag and register for next year’s event to showcase Taiwan.

As part of its work, the ACTL traveled to the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, last month to promote Taiwan’s inclusion in the decisionmaking body of the WHO.

Source: Taipei Times - 2023/06/11

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