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Taiwan concerned over NBA star's China Tour to Taipei

2011/06/23 20:02:48

Taipei, June 23 (CNA) Taiwan expressed concern Thursday over an earlier announcement on Nike Basketball China's blog that NBA star LeBron James will "begin the 2011 China tour in Taipei."

The Sports Affairs Council said it had already asked Nike Taiwan to explain why it describes the Miami Heat star's "China Tour" as including Taiwan's capital of Taipei along with the Chinese cities of Chengdu, Xian and Shanghai.

"On Aug. 11, King James will begin the China Tour 2011 from Taipei and travel to Chengdu, Xian, and Shanghai over the following six days," according to a post on Nike Basketball China's Sina blog that day.

Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant will visit six other Chinese cities in July, the post went on.

"We absolutely cannot tolerate anything that belittles our nation," said Steven Chen, deputy minister of the Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council.

The council "does not rule out taking some measures" if Nike Taiwan does not provide a reasonable explanation, Chen added.

The most serious action could be to deny the player's entry to Taiwan, said the official.

Meanwhile, Nike Taiwan issued a press release on the basketball star's visit to Taiwan without naming it as part of a China Tour.

The controversial blog post was later taken down and replaced with updated information saying six NBA stars, including James and Bryant, "will launch a China Tour between July 8 and Aug. 18."

The names of the cities they will visit were deleted.

In other hoop news, Taiwanese American NBA rookie Jeremy Lin, who plays for the Golden State Warriors, will also visit Taiwan Aug. 7-8 to give a summer camp for young players.

(By Hsiao Po-hsiang and Kendra Lin)