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September 24, 2017

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Man to embark on patriotic world tour as 'human-flag'

TAIPEI--A Taiwanese man has decided to set out on a six-month bicycle journey around the globe, not just to see the world, but to let the whole world see his patriotism.

Teddy Liao, who prefers to be known as "Taiwan Floatman," will wear a T-shirt printed with the Republic of China's national flag and perform "human flag" maneuvers in which he makes his body parallel to the ground while holding a pole at famous scenic sites in various countries.

Liao, 28, who has sold his bike shop in central Taiwan's Taichung city, told CNA that he's motivated to quit his job and travel in this unusual way because he is patriotic and is concerned about Taiwan's unique international status.

The island of 23 million people is not recognized as a country by the United Nations because China considers it a province to be reunified one day.

As a result of Beijing's objections to Taiwan being treated as a country, Taiwan is often barred from participating in international organizations that require statehood or using its official name — the Republic of China — at international events. The R.O.C. moved its seat to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to the Chinese Communist Party.

Despite the warming ties between Taiwan and China, Taiwan is still not allowed to show its flag at international sports events, and thus many patriotic Taiwanese people or athletes make a point of showing Taiwan's flag in the audience sections or on the stage of sports competitions or other events.

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