China snubs ‘Little Olympics’ opening ceremony in Taiwan

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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.

The biennial Summer Universiade, dubbed the “Little Olympics,” is the largest ever sporting event Taipei hosts but it has also highlighted tensions with Beijing and the island’s struggle for international recognition.

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.

The two sides split after a civil war in 1949, but Beijing still sees the self-ruled island as part of its territory and objects to any official diplomatic recognition of Taiwan.

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