Tennis player Chan Yung-jan (詹詠然), who is also known as Latisha Chan, on Tuesday protested against the organizer of the Yinzhou Bank International Women’s Tennis Open in Ningbo, China, for introducing her as an athlete from the “District of Taiwan in China,” adding that she would take the incident to a higher authority if the organizer makes the same mistake again.
The competition is part of an international series of professional women’s tennis tournaments organized by the Women’s Tennis Association.
“I am not a person with strong political convictions and am not interested in politics,” Chan said on her Facebook page. “But when I heard the host introduce me as an athlete from the ‘District of Taiwan in China,’ I felt really uneasy. Please don’t say that I’m from China. I am TAIWANESE, [and] represent [the team of] Chinese Taipei. I have already protested the statement to the chief umpire. If I hear it again, I’m afraid that I will need to take this matter to a higher authority.”
Chan said that people can tell that she is on the Chinese Taipei team from the “TPE” abbreviation listed after her full name on the draw that determines the sequence of competition.
She said she hoped that everyone can respect this, regardless of which country she visits.
Chan added that she did not want to generate any political controversy.
She said she was just a tennis player traveling around the world and trying to make her tennis dream come true.
“There is nothing political in my travel bag,” she said.
A similar incident happened in July when tennis player Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) won the nation’s first senior Grand Slam title in the women’s doubles at Wimbledon.
Hsieh’s Chinese doubles partner Peng Shuai (彭帥) was reported to have interrupted an interview with Hsieh following their historic triumph, saying that she cannot accept the statement Taiwan is a country.
Unlike Chan, Hsieh skillfully dodged the question from the Taiwanese media about her reaction to Peng’s comments, saying that she was really happy at the interview and “did not think too much about it.”
As of press time, Chan’s posts on her Facebook page had attracted hundreds of responses from netizens, with Chinese and Taiwanese netizens engaging in discussions over the proper way to address the athlete.
A Taiwanese netizen named Fox Su said that Taiwan was forced to adopt the name “Chinese Taipei” because of the political pressure from China.
“What the athlete wants is respect,” Su said. “We reluctantly accept the name Chinese Taipei because of pressure from China. If they are going to take this away from us too, it shows that they do not have respect for us.”