Thu, Nov 22, 2018 - Page 3 News List

2018 ELECTIONS: New name ‘would correct’ Chiang error

TRANSITIONAL JUSTICE:The use of ‘Chinese Taipei’ at sports events was agreed to by a dictatorship that no longer exists and should be rectified, Chen Yung-hsing said

By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Veteran Taiwanese independence activist Chen Yung-hsing attends the opening of a long-term care center in Hualien County on July 28.

Photo: Hua Meng-ching, Taipei Times

The nation should change the name of its national team to “Taiwan” to correct a historical mistake, veteran Taiwanese independence activist Chen Yung-hsing (陳永興) said yesterday during a televised debate on Saturday’s referendums.

Chen, a former superintendent of St Mary’s Hospital in Yilan County’s Luodong Township (羅東) and founder of the online media outlet Taiwan People News, criticized the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee’s opposition to the name-change referendum.

He also criticized its failure to join the debate to explain its position.

The committee has said that it would be unacceptable for the national team not to use the name “Chinese Taipei” and has tried to scare athletes from supporting the referendum, he said.

The referendum was initiated by National Policy Adviser to the President Chi Cheng (紀政), a three-time Olympian and winner of the bronze medal in the women’s 80m hurdles in 1968.

“Would it be embarrassing for the national team to use the name ‘Taiwan’ in competitions?” Chen said. “Whose orders are you following? Are you listening to China?”

An agreement signed in 1981 by the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee in Lausanne, Switzerland, requiring that Taiwan use the name “Chinese Taipei” in the Olympics was humiliating and akin to forfeiting sovereignty, he said.

It was acceptable in the past for the team to use the name “Taiwan,” as it did in the 1960 Rome Olympics, 1964 Tokyo Games and 1968 Mexico City Games, he said.

Taiwan boycotted the 1976 Montreal Olympics after the team was prohibited from using any reference to the Republic of China at the Games due to Canada’s recognition of the People’s Republic of China.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) had voted 58-2 to allow Taiwan to participate under the name “Team Taiwan,” but Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) objected to the name and recalled the team.

Chiang’s abstinence and refusal to concede to China was the source of the national team’s problems that continue today, Chen said.

More than 10 nations have changed the names of their teams, he said, such as the change from the Soviet Union to Russia.

The use of the name “Chinese Taipei” was agreed to by Taiwan under a dictatorship that no longer exists, Chen said, adding that the team’s name should be changed to achieve transitional justice.

“Taiwan has never been governed by China, why would we not use our own name, ‘Taiwan,’” for the national team, Chen said.

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