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.
For China observers, especially those in Taiwan, the past decade has brought awareness of an increasing obsession by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with control. It seeks to control not simply national policy, but all aspects of its citizens’ lives. Not a week passes without some new aspect of Chinese life being brought under CCP control. This forces obvious questions: Why this obsession? And what is driving it? When any one-party state, which already controls government, yet seeks to expand and tighten that control, it bodes ill. With a country the size of China, it bodes ill for Taiwan, Asia and the
Taiwan is now entering a period of maximum danger from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) due to an accelerating Chinese military challenge now emboldened by a shocking dive in American strategic credibility occasioned by its humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan. This means there is a much higher chance that in the next one to three years CCP leader Xi Jinping (習近平) may order the PLA to invade Taiwan because he believes the PLA can win and that the Americans can be dissuaded from coming to Taiwan’s aid in time. It is still possible for Taiwan and Washington
Another year, and another UN General Assembly is convening without Taiwan. Today marks the opening of the assembly’s 76th session at the UN headquarters in New York City, with the option to attend remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which once again promises to be its main focus under the theme “Building resilience through hope.” As they do every year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and overseas compatriot groups are organizing campaigns to call for Taiwan’s participation in the global body. However, unlike previous years, Taiwan seems to be riding a higher wave of support than usual. The pandemic has exposed countless shortcomings
In an op-ed on Friday, Chen Hung-hui (陳宏煇), a former university military instructor, applauded the government’s efforts to reduce the “supply, demand and harm of cannabis.” (“Cannabis use booms on campuses,” Sept. 10, page 8). Chen recounted a story of a boy who partied with the “wrong crowd,” smoked cannabis and died. This story cannot be true, because cannabis is not deadly. Consuming too much can feel mighty unpleasant, but it will not kill a person. This fact is not only backed up by science and statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control, but is well-known in countries where cannabis