Chinese LPGA duo Shanshan Feng and Yu Liu were reportedly told to skip this week’s event in Taiwan due to political tension between the two countries.
According to a Reuters report, the pair were told by somebody ‘high up’ at last week’s Buick LPGA Shanghai that they should skip the Swinging Skirts LPGA Taiwan Championship.
Until Monday, the profiles of both Feng and Liu figured on the tournament’s official website and the LPGA had listed their names in the field but, by Tuesday, both profiles were gone from the website.
China, which views self-ruled Taiwan as a wayward province, has ramped up pressure to assert its sovereignty.
Ties have deteriorated since 2016, when President Tsai Ing-wen of the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party came to power.
“They said I can’t respond regarding the issue of withdrawing from the competition,” Liu, above, told Reuters via her official account on the Twitter-like social media platform Weibo, referring to her agents.
Asked about why she had pulled out of the tournament, she declined to comment but said it was “not for personal reasons”.
Feng, who is the world No.9, has played events in Taiwan for the past four years but last year, she skipped an event sponsored by South Korean company Lotte due to diplomatic tensions between China and South Korea over a missile defense system.