Taiwan insists on 'Chinese Taipei'
The China Post news staff
July 25, 2008, 12:00 am TWN
TAIWAN, Taiwan -- Taiwan's national team will withdraw from the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games if its title in the event is changed into "Taipei, China" from the established name of "Chinese Taipei" by Olympics authorities, a top sports affairs official said yesterday.
Tai Shia-ling, minister of the Sports Affairs Council, said Taiwan's athletes will certainly withdraw from the games if the Beijing Olympics officials refer to the Taiwan Olympic team as "Zhongguo Taipei," which means "Taipei, China" and implies that Taiwan is part of China, in Olympic competition events.
She made the remarks during a second Cabinet meeting on Taiwan's contingency response if China should attempt to downgrade Taiwan's status during the Olympic games by referring to the Taiwan Olympic team as "Zhongguo Taipei" instead of "Chunghua Taipei," which means "Chinese Taipei."
Based on a protocol signed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Taiwan has been participating in international sports events under the English title "Chinese Taipei" since 1981, due to pressure of from China.
Tai continued that according to a pact inked between both sides of the Taiwan Strait in Hong Kong in 1989, all sports teams or organizations representing Taiwan will follow IOC regulations when attending sports events in China.
Both sides also agreed that Taiwan would be referred to as "Chunghua Taipei" in Chinese characters, or "Chinese Taipei" in English, in any of the Olympic Games' publications or public information materials such as brochures, invitation letters, athletic badges and media broadcasts.
In the Olympic standings, the Chinese Taipei team uses the initials "TPE," with the Republic of China's National Banner Song as its team song, according to Tai.
She explained that if a Taiwan athlete wins a gold medal, the host authorities should play the Republic of China's National Banner Song while the "Chinese Taipei" flag is being raised.
Tai stressed that both the Sports Affairs Council and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee will launch protests on the spot if Beijing Olympic fails to do that.
Meanwhile, officials with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) noted yesterday that they're glad to learn that the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council said that they would follow the 1989 agreement and refer to the Taiwan team as "Chinese Taipei" in the Olympic competition events.
But MAC officials also regretted that mainland Chinese news media would continue using "Taipei, China" to represent the Olympic team from Taiwan, saying that they would continue to negotiate with the Taiwan Affairs Office to work out optimal solutions.
In related news, Lawmaker Chang Hua-kuan of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called for Lai Hsing-yuan, minister of the MAC to step down if the Central Chinese Television shows "Zhongguo Taipei" in Chinese characters on its screen during the Beijing Olympic Games.