Wed, Aug 30, 2017 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Universiade lessons

What a shame that the Taipei City Police Department connived with anti-pension reform protesters to block athletes from entering the Taipei Municipal Stadium at the opening of the Taipei Summer Universiade. The protesters crossed from the free-speech zone to the side of the stadium and walked freely into the entrance hall — a place devoid of people — without interruption from police on duty.

What a shame that those protesters were retired police and military officers who knew the law, but intentionally violated it. They had been senior officers or perhaps even instructors of officers on duty. No wonder they were so arrogant.

What a shame that although Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) bragged that the security of the Games was impregnable, his police only effectively blocked spectators carrying banners showing an image of Taiwan, while allowing protesters to cross the protest zone carrying loudspeakers, whistles, banners and smoke bombs to attack officers on duty.

Although Ko called the protesters “bastards,” earning 480,000 endorsements, he said that Internet users were also “bastards,” drawing heavy condemnation.

After a delay, most of the 7,700 athletes were led by Taiwanese athletes into the stadium, marching as a group. The opening ceremony went on smoothly and the night ended with the lighting of the Universiade cauldron.

Three torch carriers jogged around the stadium track and set the torch on a platform for Chen Chin-feng (陳金峰), Taiwan’s first Major League Baseball player.

The former Los Angeles Dodger grabbed a baseball bat and swung at the torch, lighting up the cauldron with a fireball, officially opening the Games.

Taiwanese athletes have provided an outstanding performance and earned a good number of medals. The scorecard is better than expected and all of Taiwan’s athletes have done their best for their beloved nation and their efforts have earned the friendship and respect of international athletes, who called the local team “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei.”

History shows that the Taiwan team were greeted as Formosa in the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics, which was rejected by the then-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government by holding up a sign reading “under protest” at the opening ceremony.

Now, we are called “Chinese Taipei,” which does not represent us at all.

From the interruption at the opening ceremony to the outstanding medal record, Taiwan has proudly demonstrated that it is a great nation associated with the international community, but we have suffered the illusionist national title “Republic of China” (ROC), and even if we host international games, we cannot use a representative title.

The Universiade has indeed given all Taiwanese a good lesson and has made us realize that the ROC is not recognized as nation by the world.

Taiwan is a vibrant nation and we are ready to identify it as “Taiwan,” not “Chinese Taipei” or “the ROC.”

John Hsieh

Hayward, California

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