Young people from the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and Taiwan Independence Flag Organization yesterday took part in a “flash mob” in Taipei to back demands for the use of “Taiwan” instead of “Chinese Taipei” for national teams participating in international competitions.
Armed with posters and placards that spelled “we want Team Taiwan to participate at all international competitions,” the group walked through the Huashan 1914 Creative Park, where they were mostly met with smiles and thumbs up by the throngs of people attending a beer festival, as well as arts and musical events. The signs also invited people to take photographs to post on Line, Facebook and other social networking sites.
Flash mob participants also handed out dark green stickers with the message “Taiwan is Taiwan” in Chinese and “Taiwan is not Chinese Taipei” in English.
TSU Youth Department deputy director Hsu Ya-chi (許亞齊) said the “flash mob” action was aimed at raising awareness among young people of the name issue, encouraging people to cheer for “Team Taiwan” and Taiwanese athletes at all sports events and urging the government and sports bodies to drop the name “Chinese Taipei.”
“Taiwan is Taiwan, almost everyone in the world knows that, but sports governing bodies and the former administrations imposed the name ‘Chinese Taipei’ on us,” Hsu said. “It is the wrong name, and it downgrades Taiwan’s national sovereignty. Its continued use will make international community to believe that Taiwanese are all Chinese, which is a distortion of the facts.”
Hsu also demanded that Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) ensure that “Taiwan” is used by Taiwanese athletes and teams at next year’s Universiade in the city and not give in to pressure by pro-blue camp interest groups for the continued use of “Chinese Taipei.”
The group also called on sports bodies, including those for baseball, basketball and soccer, to start using the name “Team Taiwan,” adding that this should also be applied to competitions in other fields such as international video gaming tournaments, academic Olympics and cooking competitions.
TSU Youth Department head Ho Tsung-ying (侯宗穎) said use of the term “Chinese Taipei” began in 1981 and so for more than 35 years the term has been used to delude Taiwanese and the international community.
“Taipei is only one of many cities of Taiwan, so how can this term represent all the people of this nation?” Ho said.
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