Republic of China? Chinese Taipei? For Taiwan, there are many things in one name

A week ago, Taiwan said it would not participate in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Later, the island’s democracy reversed its decision, citing pressure from the International Olympic Committee.

At first, Taiwanese officials pointed to inconvenient flight schedules and pandemic restrictions. But they are also engaged in a political rivalry with Beijing during the Olympics, manifest in one nagging issue: the name of the Taiwanese delegation.

Taiwan, a self-governing island that China claims as its territory, has for decades been forced to compete in international sporting events as “Chinese Taipei” rather than as “Chinese Taipei”. Taiwan or officially known as the Republic of China. IOC regulations prohibit delegations from Taiwan from using any symbol that indicates the island is a sovereign country.

When Taiwan said on Monday that it had decided to participate in the opening ceremony, the island’s officials urged China not to try to use the Olympics to crack down on Taiwan. They did not go into specifics, but some Taiwanese officials fear that Beijing could use the Olympics to weaken the island’s position.

The dispute centered on China’s representation of the Taiwanese delegation’s name, “Chinese Taipei”. Officially, the Chinese name of the delegation is Zhonghua Taipei. But officials on the mainland often refer to the Taiwanese delegation as China Taipei. Zhongguo is the Chinese name for China; Mentioning the Taiwanese delegation as such implies that the athletes and the island they represent are part of China.

At Friday’s ceremony, the event’s announcer pasted in the official, “Chinese Taipei” version of the delegation’s name, as it did at the 2008 ceremony in Beijing.

The island’s delegation did not use the name Taiwan on the national team’s uniform, sing the Taiwanese national anthem or carry the island’s flag during the opening ceremony.

Lin Sin-rong, a luger playing in Beijing, said in January: “I actually feel a bit disappointed that I can’t compete with the Taiwanese name. “When it comes to China, I do what I should and keep what I shouldn’t say to my heart.” Republic of China? Chinese Taipei? For Taiwan, there are many things in one name

Fry Electronics Team

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