Taipei-Gold medalist Shun Wang commented on Facebook after Taiwan defeated China in the badminton men’s doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, highlighting the controversial debate on the autonomous islands. Taiwan. “
Wang’s team participates in the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei” with Beijing’s claim that Taiwan is considered part of “One China” and never excludes the use of power to take control of the democratic island To do.
But with the first gold medal in badminton and nine other medals and counts, Taiwan’s greatest Olympic performance in history is about the practice of international organizations calling Taiwan Chinese and whether the island should compete by that name. Revived the old debate on the island. “Taiwan”.
The success of the Olympic Games brought joy to the island, with politicians and celebrities participating to tag social media celebrations as “Team Taiwan” and “Taiwan is Taiwan.”
“Chinese Taipei is gone,” said social media poster Lin Chiain in response to the celebration of the king’s Taiwanese identity.
Over 1 million Facebook users love Wang’s comments.
“Support Taiwan’s Olympic competition! Let the world see Taiwan’s name!” Lin said.
Taiwan is virtually an independent country, with its own army, democratically elected government, and constitution. Beijing’s position is that the island of 23.5 million people does not have the right to be recognized as another country in any field. It regularly pressures international groups and businesses to mention Taiwan as part of China. Only 15 countries are aware of Taiwan, most of which are very small.
China’s Taiwan Secretariat said in a Reuters statement that participation in the “Chinese Taipei” tournament was in line with the “One China” principle, jointly agreed by both Taiwanese strait athletes and international sports organizations. He said he did.
“We cannot disagree with the principles,” the office said. “Pursuing” independence “at sporting events with trivial tricks is a dead end. “
Taiwan’s Cheong Wa Dae declined to comment.
The confrontation between Beijing and Taipei dates back to the end of China’s civil war in 1949.
The name “Chinese Taipei” comes from Taiwan’s competition under the name Chinese Taipei in the late 1970s, without the use of flags or national anthems, under a compromise between the Taipei Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee. To do. Similar rules have been set for other sporting events.
The controversy over the name resurfaced last month when Japanese public broadcaster NHK called the team from Taiwan at the opening ceremony to please Taiwanese politicians and many people.
“‘Chinese Taipei’ has caused a lot of confusion and misunderstanding internationally,” Jerry Liu, a former Taiwanese diplomat and director of international affairs at the Opposition New Power Party, told Reuters.
“Taiwan is Taiwan.”
However, the island’s enthusiasm for Taiwan’s identity does not mean that voters are ready to challenge geopolitical reality.
In 2018, voters in the referendum rejected the proposal to participate in the Olympics as “Taiwan” instead of “Taipei, China.” Many were afraid that the name change would lead to the Chinese administration trying to completely block the island from the game.
Lo Chih-cheng, a member of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party, described the term Chinese Taipei as “an unacceptable arrangement that people were forced to accept.”
He told Reuters that Taiwan may not be able to change the status quo internationally, but people shouldn’t “take it for granted” domestically and call Team Taiwan by that name. rice field.
According to the media, activists are preparing to call for another referendum before the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Taiwan’s leading opposition Kuomintang, Johnny Chiang, who supports close ties with Beijing, said it was not the right time to drive change.
“Team Chinese Taipei is the delegation of the Olympics,” he said recently. “Don’t distract or confuse athletes with ideology.”
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report