Chinese Taipei have been stripped of the right to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games ©Getty Images

The 2019 East Asian Youth Games (EAYG) will no longer be held in Chinese Taipei's Taichung City after the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) voted to cancel their right to host the event.

It follows concerns in China over a proposed referendum regarding whether Chinese Taipei, otherwise known as Taiwan, should be referred to as Taiwan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

EAOC President Liu Peng, who is Chinese, organised the vote at an extraordinary meeting which saw Taichung City stripped of the event.

Chinese Taipei has been referred to as such in the Olympics ever since 1981, when an agreement was signed between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) in Lausanne in Switzerland.

In response to the EAOC's decision, the IOC reportedly told Focus Taiwan that the 1981 agreement, named the Nagoya Resolution, "remains unchanged and fully applicable".

However, the EAOC's decision to strip Taichung City of the Asian Youth Games has only strengthened support for the referendum, according to its organisers, the Team Taiwan Campaign for 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

A spokesperson for the group told TheNewsLens that the number of people signing a petition calling for a vote has doubled since the EAOC's decision was announced.

It has reportedly gained 90,000 signatures since being set up in March of last year, though that figure is still far short of the 280,000 target.

Athletes from Chinese Taipei cannot compete under the Taiwanese flag ©Getty Images
Athletes from Chinese Taipei cannot compete under the Taiwanese flag ©Getty Images

Eight countries compete in the EAYG - Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea, as well as Chinese Taipei and China.

It has been reported that NT$676 million ($21.8 million/£16.8 million/€18.9 million) has already been spent preparing Taichung City for the event.

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), has its own Government but the Chinese consider the island to be a breakaway part of their own territory.

The country is referred to as Chinese Taipei at all editions of the Olympic Games and they are not allowed their flag or anthem.

China rejected allowing the country to participate independently at the 1976 Summer Games in Montreal.

Taiwan boycotted the Games in the Canadian city and the following edition in Moscow four years later after they were not permitted to use the ROC name.

They participated for the first time as Chinese Taipei, a nation that technically does not exist, at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. 

It came after the IOC passed the Nagoya Resolution, forcing Taiwan to use the name Chinese Taipei and banning its Olympic Committee from using the ROC flag or national anthem.