Pro-independence groups yesterday submitted a referendum petition to the Central Election Commission to change the nation’s name from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The name rectification campaign was led by pro-independence advocates, as well as former athletes and sports officials, including track and field Olympic medalist Chi Cheng (紀政) and former Sports Administration director-general Yang Chung-ho (楊忠和).
A total of 4,488 signatures were submitted to the commission.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
The groups last month renewed their referendum drive and collected thousands of signatures within a few weeks following the passage in December last year of amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法), which lowered the legal voting age and slashed thresholds for initiating, seconding and passing referendums.
Independence advocates have promoted the campaign for more than a year following an initiative led by the Tokyo-based Taiwan 2020 Campaign Council, which collected signatures from Japanese citizens to petition the government to allow Taiwan’s national team to join the Tokyo Olympics under the name “Taiwan.”
The referendum drive is hoped to make this year “the first year of Taiwanese sports” by allowing the nation’s athletes to join international competitions under an appropriate name, Lee Teng-hui Association for Democracy standing director Chang Tsan-hung (張燦鍙) said.
“Name rectification is in line with the Olympic spirit. Taiwanese athletes after World War II participated in the Olympics under the name Taiwan, so the referendum proposal is legitimate in both theory and practice,” Chang said.
Chang also criticized the commission for the delay in launching an electronic signature collection mechanism, the lack of which has inconvenienced Taiwanese who wish to exercise their rights.
Yang displayed a petition signed by Chi, who at a news conference on Jan. 15 endorsed the name change initiative and called on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to allow the Taiwanese delegation to participate in the Games under the name “Taiwan.”
Taiwan has competed in the Olympics several times using other names, including “Formosa” at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics; “Taiwan” in 1960, 1964 and 1968; and the “Republic of China” in the 1972 Munich Games, Yang said.
The IOC asked Taiwan to participate in 1976 under the name “Taiwan,” but the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government decided to boycott the Games.
The name “Chinese Taipei” has been adopted since the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo.
The commission is to verify the petition and referendum topic, and if approval is given, campaigners must collect more than 280,000 signatures to officially launch a referendum.
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
‘COINCIDENCE’: The former president should keep in mind local and global response to his actions and abide by the law to safeguard national interests, the MAC said The Presidential Office yesterday confirmed that it has received an application from former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to visit China next week and would be discussing his security detail. “As the travel restrictions on former president Ma have expired, we respect his plan to pay respect to his ancestors in China,” Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said. “We will review his travel plan and consult concerned agencies to assist him in arranging his security detail.” “We also hope that Ma, as a former commander in chief of Taiwan, acts in a manner that aligns with national interests and does not hurt
‘NOTHING NEW’: China should not use Tsai Ing-wen’s transits through the US as a pretext to step up aggressive activity in the Taiwan Strait, a Washington official said President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is to stop over in the US on her way to and from Central America next week, but her administration would not confirm a meeting with US House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Tsai’s delegation is to leave Taipei on Wednesday next week and stop over in New York City, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) told a news conference yesterday. Tsai is then to head to Guatemala on Saturday next week for talks with Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei and to meet with Taiwanese expatriates, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. On April 3, Tsai is scheduled to travel
‘DIRE’: Taiwan would not engage in ‘dollar diplomacy,’ the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, after China reportedly offered Honduras up to US$3 billion to establish relations The government yesterday recalled its ambassador to Honduras after the Central American nation sent its foreign minister to China, signaling that it would sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan. Suspicions concerning ties with Honduras are rife after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday last week wrote on Twitter that her country would pursue diplomatic ties with China. Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina traveled to China on Wednesday “to promote efforts for the establishment of diplomatic relations” on instructions from Castro, Reuters yesterday quoted Honduran presidential spokesman Ivis Alvarado as saying. The government “has decided to immediately recall the ambassador to Honduras