CARTOON: In the Swing of Politicizing Sport

CARTOON: In the Swing of Politicizing Sport

What you need to know

Punishing sports people by denying them the chance to compete as part of a national political agenda is wrong.

The Communist Party's pettiness knows no bounds, bunkers or moral hazards.

China's elite female golfers on Tuesday pulled out of the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship, which starts here today, after being instructed to do so by a source "high up" in the CCP, according to a Reuters report.

Sources told the news agency that the two Chinese golfers scheduled to take part, Shanshan Feng and Yu Liu, had received word they were to cancel their trips to Taipei at last weekend's Buick LPGA Shanghai event.

This is the part where we usually write something about "escalating cross-Strait tensions," U.S. Navy or People's Liberation Army activity in the Taiwan Strait, and how Beijing views Taiwan as a "renegade" province, but this action of petty authoritarianism doesn't deserve the broader geopolitical canvas.

Neither golfer was able to articulate why they had withdrawn, though indicated it was neither a result of injury or personal circumstances. They miss out on the chance to compete for a tournament purse of US$2.2 million at the Ta Shee Golf & Country Club as a result.

“They said I can’t respond regarding the issue of withdrawing from the competition,” Liu told Reuters via her official account on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo.

The interference in the U.S. professional women's golf tour should come as no surprise, following as it does the decision in July for Taichung to be stripped of its right to hold the 2019 East Asian Youth Games as a result of pressure from Beijing.

East Asian Olympic Committee Chairman Liu Peng led a vote to deny the city the right to host an event for which it had been preparing for several years, not to mention allocating spending of about NT$676 million (US$21.8 million).

This is not the first time the golfer Liu has pulled out of event as a result of external pressure, having declined an invitation to compete at a tournament in South Korea last year amid high tension between Beijing and Seoul.

Read Next: CARTOON: Happy National Day, Taiwan, ROC, Whatever!

Editor: David Green (@DavidPeterGreen)

If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more like it in your news feed, please be sure to like our Facebook page below.