Social Democratic Party (SDP) member Miao Po-ya (苗博雅) yesterday decried the International University Sports Federation’s (FISU) indiscriminate substitution of “Taiwan” with “Chinese Taipei” in media brochures issued by the Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee.
The Summer Universiade is to begin on Saturday next week.
The federation should have listed the nation, referred to as “Chinese Taipei,” under “T” as per its code, TPE, in accordance with the International Olympic Committee’s rules, Miao said.
However, it was listed under “C” after China, adding to confusion, Miao said.
The federation’s actions breach an agreement between the International Olympic Committee and the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee made in 1981, which established the so-called “Olympic model,” which is followed by Taiwan’s Sports Administration when registering or holding international sporting events, she said.
The “Olympic model” does not ban the use of “Taiwan,” Miao said, citing as an example the 2009 International World Games in Kaohsiung, which followed the model. Taiwan was mentioned several times in an introduction to the 2009 event on its Web site, Miao said.
An introduction to Kaohsiung’s sports facilities, referred to Taiwan as a “country.”
Under the IOC model the title “Chinese Taipei” only applies to the team name for sporting events, the flag and the emblem, but the federation has told organizers to change “Taiwan” to “Chinese Taipei island” and “New Taiwan dollar” into “Chinese Taipei dollar” in brochures, Miao said.
Miao said that the federation’s subordination of Taiwan was likely deliberate, as it has extensive experience supervising international university-level sports events.
Yang Liguo (楊立國), who is vice chairman and secretary-general of Federation of University Sports of China, which is overseen by the Chinese Communist Party, and Xue Yangqing, who is on the federation’s media and communication committee, might have exerted Beijing’s influence on the foundation, causing it to “mix up” Taiwan’s place on its Web site and direct the foundation to strictly adhere to “Chinese Taipei” when translating the brochures.
The Taipei Universiade Organizing Committee changed “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” in sections of the brochure and on Thursday published an updated online version, she said.
If the foundation rejects the changes, the committee should file with the Court of Arbitration for Sports to rule on the federation’s seemingly excessive demand that the committee only use “Chinese Taipei” in brochures, she said.
The court is an independent institution based in Lausanne, Switzerland, that resolves sports-related disputes. Its jurisdiction is recognized by all Olympic sports federations.
“Taiwanese should be allowed to be the masters of their name after the government spent NT$19.8 billion [US$650 million] of taxpayers’ money to host the Universiade,” she said.
Committee spokesman Yang Ching-tang (楊景棠) yesterday said that the changes were pending approval by the FISU.
Despite the online update, it still has a passage that reads: “Bravo the Bear, the Universiade mascot, is based on the Formosan black bear, a species endemic to Chinese Taipei.”
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