President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday thanked NBA player Enes Kanter for voicing support for Taiwan in a video posted earlier that day, in which the Boston Celtics center urged people to “stand with Taiwan” and “support democracy.”
“Taiwan is a democratic and free country, and I stand with Taiwan,” Kanter said in a video posted to Twitter.
In the video, Kanter also criticized Chinese President Xi Jinping for claiming that Taiwan is a part of China and constantly threatening to invade Taiwan — behavior which Kanter described as Xi “being stuck in his own world” — and said that China’s actions prove that the country is a threat to freedom everywhere.
“Taiwan is now at the front lines against China’s dictatorship. My message to all freedom supporters watching this today is we are stronger together. We must all stand with Taiwan, support Taiwan and defend democracy,” Kanter said, adding that he believed that the future of Taiwan must be determined by Taiwanese.
Tsai replied to Kanter with a video message of her own, which she began by thanking Kanter for standing with Taiwan.
“We will always defend our hard-earned freedom and democracy, and the support from you and our friends around the world gives us strength,” Tsai said.
“Taiwan is also home to many basketball fans, and we are all rooting for you,” she added.
In a reply yesterday morning, Kanter thanked Tsai for her “kind words.”
“I can’t wait to come visit your beautiful country, learn about Taiwanese culture, taste some of your delicious food and meet the brave people of Taiwan,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We are stronger when we stand together,” Kanter said, including at the end of the sentence an image of Taiwan’s national flag.
Kanter was born in Switzerland to Turkish parents and raised in Turkey, before moving to the US to play basketball at the age of 17.
He has been outspoken in the past few years against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who he considers a dictator, which has resulted in his Turkish passport being revoked and him being unable to see his family in Turkey.
Late last month, Kanter began criticizing on social media the Chinese government and the human rights abuses committed by Beijing against Tibetans, Uighurs and Hong Kongers.
Before and during games, he has worn basketball shoes bearing the slogans: “Free Uighur,” “Stop genocide, torture, rape, slave labor,” and “Free Tibet.”
His posts and actions have caused Boston Celtics games to be pulled from Chinese videostreaming site Tencent.
Taiwanese table tennis ace Lin Yun-ju on Wednesday handily downed Sweden’s Jon Persson 4-0 to advance to the round-of-32 at the World Table Tennis Championships Finals in Houston, Texas. World No. 6 Lin, who had a bye to automatically advance to the second round, defeated the 35-year-old Swede 11-5, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Lin was yesterday to play South Korea’s Lim Jong-hoon. Compatriot and fellow Olympic veteran Chuang Chih-yuan crashed out after losing to Sweden’s Truls Moregard. Moregard, who is more than half Chuang’s age at 19, downed the 40-year-old world No. 25 4-3 in a
FEARS TOO GREAT: Denmark’s Union of Journalists urged reporters not to travel to Qatar to cover the World Cup, saying the country cannot be trusted after the incident Security forces in Qatar detained two Norwegian Broadcasting Corp (NRK) journalists for more than 30 hours and deleted footage they gathered at a migrant labor camp as they tried to report on worker issues ahead of next year’s FIFA World Cup, authorities said on Wednesday. The Qatari government accused NRK journalists Halvor Ekeland and Lokman Ghorbani of “trespassing on private property and filming without a permit,” as the two returned on Wednesday to Norway following their arrest. The journalists contended they had verbal permission from those they filmed there. The arrests sparked a diplomatic dispute between Norway and Qatar. Norwegian news agency
Former champion Shaun Murphy on Wednesday said that amateurs should not be allowed to play in professional snooker tournaments after he lost in the first round of the UK championship to 19-year-old Si Jiahui. The 39-year-old Murphy, who was runner-up in the world championship this year, fought back from 5-1 down to level the match, but lost the deciding frame to the Chinese amateur. Murphy, who has won more than ￡4 million (US$5.33 million) in prize money in his career, vented his frustration after the defeat in York on Tuesday. “I’m going to sound like a grumpy old man, but that young man
PRESIDENTIAL VISIT: Tsai Ing-wen attended pre-game events, with her staff saying that she wanted to show her strong support for the nation’s most popular sport Two home runs gave the CTBC Brothers a 2-0 victory over the Uni-President Lions in an otherwise pitcher-dominated Taiwan Series opener in Taichung yesterday. CTBC took the lead in the best-of-seven Taiwan Series, with Taichung Intercontinental Stadium fully open and filled to capacity with 20,000 spectators because health authorities have kept the COVID-19 pandemic at bay. CTBC fans dominated the stands, turning them yellow as so many were wearing their team’s colors. The CPBL’s championship series is to continue with Game 2 today, also in Taichung. President Tsai Ing-wen made an unannounced visit prior to game’s start, participating in the opening ceremony and posing