Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 1 News List

Name campaign to push for signatures over the weekend

By Su Fang-ho  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Tokyo Olympics for Taiwan Name Rectification Action Working Group yesterday hold a news conference in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

A group advocating changing the national team’s name for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” yesterday said it is planning to ramp up its efforts this weekend by setting up dozens of signature-gathering booths nationwide.

The group has collected more than 140,000 signatures, but it still needs another 140,000 for their proposal to qualify for a referendum, which would be held alongside the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24, Tokyo Olympics for Taiwan Name Rectification Action Working Group convener Sheng Ching-kai (沈清楷) said.

All signatures must be collected and submitted to the Central Election Commission by Aug. 29, he added.

The group said it is planning to set up 54 signature-collecting stations in Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, as well as Hsinchu, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Pingtung, Yilan, Hualien and Penghu counties this weekend, adding that people can also sign the petition online.

Premier William Lai (賴清德) on Monday defended his hesitance toward backing the drive, saying that the nation is bound by the 1981 Lausanne Agreement between the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee, which requires it to use the title “Chinese Taipei” in the Olympics.

However, the group is advocating for the agreement to be renegotiated, Sheng said, adding that it wants the government to take action on the matter through the proper channels.

Group member Liu Ching-wen (劉敬文) said that Lai’s comments have no bearing on the name rectification movement, which is supported by many people.

The group hosted a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to announce the weekend campaign. Representatives from the New Power Party, Taiwan Solidarity Union and other parties were in attendance, but Olympic medalist Chi Cheng (紀政), a key supporter of the initiative, was not.

Chi proposed the referendum, but has temporarily stopped accepting interviews, Liu said.

The movement is helping open opportunities for Taiwan in the international community and deepens the foundation of democracy, group executive director Chu Meng-hsiang (朱孟庠) said.

“We are taking practical action to break through the blockade that China has imposed on Taiwan,” Chu said. “We are telling Beijing that Taiwan is not part of China.”

The drive has received a spike in signatures since July 24, when Beijing reportedly cited the referendum to pressure the East Asian Olympic Committee to revoke Taichung’s right to host the first East Asian Youth Games next year.

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