Taiwanese tennis player Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) yesterday continued to dodge questions about comments made by her Chinese doubles partner Peng Shuai (彭帥) about Taiwan not being a country, saying she would team up with Peng for the year’s final Grand Slam, the US Open.
Peng was reported to have interrupted a media interview with Hsieh following their historic triumph in the women’s doubles final at Wimbledon last week, saying that she cannot accept the statement Taiwan is a country.
On Thursday, Hsieh said she is still a Taiwanese national and has yet to consider switching allegiance to China, despite multiple big-money offers from potential Chinese sponsors.
Hsieh held another press conference yesterday in Taipei to thank her sponsors and show her championship trophy.
She was again asked by the press whether she was shocked at Peng’s comments following their victory at the Wimbledon.
“I was really happy at that time and did not think too much about it. Thank you for your concern... Thank you for your concern,” a chuckling Hsieh said.
“I’m focussing on preparing for the US Open in the next few months and hope that everyone can continue to support other tennis players,” she added.
When pressed whether she would discuss the matter with Peng, Hsieh said: “I have answered this question. Thank you for your concern. Every athlete is working really hard.”
Hsieh’s father Hsieh Tzu-lung (謝子龍), however, apologized for any confusion caused by his comments on offers of sponsorship deals from China, adding that it was not his intention to confound or deceive the public.
“I just hoped people would give professional athletes a helping hand and offer more practical support. Let’s work to produce more “prides of Taiwan,” he said, adding that people should stop talking about any switch of allegiance to China.
“We still think that it’s better to stay here [Taiwan],” he said.
Aside from Four Pillars Enterprise, CPC Corp, Taiwan, and other sponsors, Hsieh Tzu-lung noted that a travel agency in Greater Kaohsiung once let his family buy flight tickets on credit for one year.
“They never rushed us to pay back the money we owed. We would always pay back the money as soon as we received the funding from the Greater Kaohsiung City Government. Even though they did not sponsor us, what they did was actually more important than sponsorship,” he said.
Hsieh Tzu-lung added that the family are scheduled to talk with China Airlines, Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp next week about the details of sponsorship offers.