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Taiwanese basketball team denies it is joining Chinese league
Taipei, Nov. 4 (CNA) A Taiwanese basketball team dismissed reports Thursday that it has applied to join the Chinese professional league in 2011.
Taiwan Beer, one of seven teams in Taiwan's professional Super Basketball League (SBL) , also said that whether it will go to China will be decided only after a full discussion.
The team will "only do so after applying to the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association (CTBA) and the Sports Affairs Council and receiving a green light from them," it added in a news release.
The Chinese-language United Evening News reported that day that Taiwan Beer had submitted an application to join the 17-team Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) after finishing the 2010 season in Taiwan.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) , which is in charge of Taiwan's China policy, said it checked with the CTBA and learned that the report was false, MAC Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun said.
But an MAC official said that Taiwan Beer players did previously get approval to play in the CBA.
As the government is the majority shareholder of the team's parent company, Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp., the situation could be even more complex, the official said.
In 2002, Sina Lions became the first Taiwanese basketball team to join the CBA. It chose Suzhou in Jiangsu Province as its home city and played in the league for two years before returning to Taiwan in 2003.
A number of Taiwanese players, most notably Taiwan national team stars Chen Hsin-an and Lin Chih-chieh, have signed with CBA teams in recent years, lured by higher salaries than they can earn in Taiwan.