The long-simmering controversy over Taiwan's national title and national dignity was brought into the open at the Athens Olympics. At the historic moment when two Taiwanese taekwondo athletes stepped onto the podium to receive their gold medals, our country suddenly became "Chinese Taipei" -- the music that was played was not our national anthem and the flag that was raised was not our national flag. Yet the athletes saluted. With this absurd situation happening twice in the space of minutes, how could a reasonable person not feel consternation at the absurdity of it all? \nTo avoid confusing its American audience, NBC television clarified each time the name was used that "Chinese Taipei" referred to Taiwan. Japanese and South Korean television were more impatient and simply dropped "Chinese Taipei" altogether in its reports, using "Taiwan" instead. \nIt is therefore pleasing to note that apart from China, media outlets from almost every other country are willing to refer to the nation as Taiwan. But it is galling that media outlets back home and Taiwan's officials insist on using "Chinese Taipei." The flag with the Olympic rings, the plum blossom and the symbol of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is not our national flag, nor is the National Flag Song our national anthem -- yet there is an intriguing and disquieting willingness to accommodate them beyond the practicality of athletes being accepted by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). \nThere will be greater complications in 2008, when the Olympics are held in Beijing. Taiwan's national title and its dignity will be compromised. In Athens, Taiwan placed advertising in the airport and on city buses using both "Chinese Taipei" and Taiwan to increase international recognition, but pressure on the Greek government from China forced the withdrawal of the advertisements, despite the fact that their presence was the result of a perfectly legal financial transaction. \nIt is evident from all this that four years from now China will be most unwilling for us to use either "Chinese Taipei" or "Taiwan," and will accept only "Taipei, China" -- a name that puts us in the same category as "Hong Kong, China" and "Macao, China," which are in fact Chinese administrative districts. \nChina will only be content when Taiwan adopts a title that represents an acceptance of its own obliteration. Its attitude is so obvious that the public here and reasonable people in the international community will begin to wonder whether Beijing can be trusted not to turn the Olympics into a sledgehammer for its ultranationalist agenda. \nIn the meantime, using the name "Chinese Taipei" is as laughable as referring to the US as "America, Washington." It is meaningless. \nIt is highly unlikely that the IOC will accept a change of name for Taiwan before the next Games, but why should the IOC be held responsible for this in the first instance? \nAny campaign pushing for a name change has to begin with our own media, officials and the people on the street. Only if the nation learns to use "Taiwan" to refer to itself -- and on the international stage in particular -- will China's tremendous opportunity to humiliate us at the next Olympics be hindered.
An outrageous dismissal of the exemplary Taiwanese fight against COVID-19 has been perpetrated by the EU. There is no excuse. I presume that everyone who reads the Taipei Times knows that the EU has excluded Taiwan from its so-called “safe list,” which permits citizens unhindered travel to and from the countries of the EU. As the EU does not feel that it needs to explain the character of this exclusive list, perhaps we should examine it ourselves in some detail. There are 14 nations on the list that have been chosen as safe countries of origin and safe countries of destination for
Filmmakers in Taiwan used to struggle when it came to telling a story that could resonate internationally. Things started to change when the 2017 drama series The Teenage Psychic (通靈少女), a collaboration between HBO Asia and Taiwanese Public Television Service (PTS), became a huge hit not just locally, but also internationally. The coming-of-age story was adapted from the 2013 PTS-produced short film The Busy Young Psychic (神算). Entirely filmed in Taiwan, the Mandarin-language series even made it on HBO’s streaming platforms in the US. It is proof that a well-told Taiwanese story can absolutely win the hearts and minds of hard-to-please
Drugged with sedatives, handcuffed and wearing a bright orange prison tunic, British fraud investigator and former journalist Peter Humphrey was escorted by warders into an interrogation room filled with reporters, locked inside a steel cage and fastened to a metal “tiger chair.” Humphrey recalls: “I was completely surrounded by officers, dazed, manacled and with cameras pointing at me through the bars. I was fighting for my life like a caged animal. It was horrifying.” Footage from the interrogation was later artfully edited to give the appearance of a confession and broadcast on Chinese state media. While this might sound like an
If anyone had harbored hope that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) was to bring about much-needed reform to his party, those hopes have now been dashed. The pathetic publicity stunt of the KMT’s short-lived “occupation” of the Legislative Yuan on Sunday and Monday last week failed on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to start. Seeing Chiang at the scene was disappointing and raises the question of why he allowed it to happen. The farce began when KMT legislators barricaded themselves into the legislative chamber. However, they were kicked out only 19 hours later, just in