What’s in a name? Anger in Taiwan over ‘Chinese Taipei’ Olympics moniker
By James Griffiths, August 6, 2016, CNN
Tears rolled down Chen Shih-hsin’s cheeks as, olive wreath atop her head and medal around her neck, she saluted the flag that rose above the stadium.
But the anthem that played for the first Taiwanese athlete to ever win gold — she won gold at the 2004 Olympics in the lightweight taekwondo competition — was not the one Chen heard growing up, nor was the flag in front of her the red and blue of Taiwan.
Instead, Chen stood under the white banner of “Chinese Taipei,” a nation that does not exist, the result of a political compromise stemming from divisions that have existed since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949
That compromise, which allows Taiwan to compete in the Olympics but not use its own name, flag or anthem, is increasingly starting to rankle among Taiwanese far more assertive of their identity and autonomy
, especially in the wake of the election of President Tsai Ying-wen
In 1971, Taiwan — officially the Republic of China (ROC) — was forced to withdraw from the United Nations after the General Assembly passed a motion recognizing the People’s Republic of China as the only lawful representative of China to the U.N.
Taiwan’s free-wheeling democracy a sharp contrast to China’s one-party state. However, a shared cultural and linguistic heritage mostly endures — with Mandarin Chinese spoken as the official language in both places. Most countries do not maintain official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, in deference to Beijing.
Any recognition of Taiwan as a separate nation is resisted forcefully by China, including in the world of sport. In a statement, the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee
said Taiwan’s membership of international organizations has been “marginalized by the Chinese mainland” since 1971.
Taiwan boycotted the 1976 and 1980 Olympics after the host nations refused to allow the ROC to compete under that name
In 1979, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) passed the Nagoya Resolution, conferring on Taiwan the name “Chinese Taipei” and banning its Olympic committee from using the ROC flag or national anthem.
After a series of forceful objections, Taiwan officially accepted the compromise in 1981, and the island competed in its first Olympics in 1984, at the winter games in Sarajevo. Read more…