As criticism from pro-Taiwan independence groups over the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s handling of a referendum on the national team’s name at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics mounts in cyberspace, Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday defended his commitment to a pragmatic approach to Taiwanese independence.
An alliance of civic groups has initiated a referendum drive on renaming the national sports team from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan” at the Tokyo Olympics and other competitions.
The DPP government’s perceived lack of support for the referendum has prompted charges that Lai is foxi (佛系) about Taiwanese independence, a Chinese Internet slang term referring to Buddha-like passivity and indifference toward a goal.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Quoting Lai’s description of himself as a “political worker for Taiwanese independence” when he fielded questions from lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan in September last year, a group of pro-localization organizations last month called for Lai to lend his support to the proposed referendum.
In an interview yesterday with Web-based Yahoo TV, Lai said that Taiwanese independence through pragmatism is derived from and defined by the DPP’s “Resolution on Taiwan’s Future” ratified in 1999.
The resolution states that Taiwan is a sovereign and independent nation named the Republic of China (ROC) that is neither a subordinate of China, nor seeks to subjugate China, whose future can only be determined by the will of its people, he said.
There is nothing wrong with advocacy for renaming the nation’s Olympic team to “Taiwan,” Lai said, adding that proposal organizer Chi Cheng (紀政) competed under that name as an Olympian in 1960, 1964 and 1968.
However, while the government respects the advocates’ views, it is bound by the Lausanne Agreement, in which Taiwan’s Olympic committee consented to participate in Olympics under the name “Chinese Taipei,” he said.
“A lot of people are understandably dissatisfied that Taiwan has to participate in the Olympics as ‘Chinese Taipei’ under the terms of the Lausanne Agreement, but this is the reality of the situation and we have to protect our right to have our athletes participate in the Olympics,” he said.
Lai also said that the Cabinet is committed to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) cross-strait policy directives.
He reiterated Tsai’s official line that there would be no changes in goodwill, no changes in promises, no reversion to confrontation, no bowing to pressure and no compromising national sovereignty for expedient short-term interests that would jeopardize Taiwan’s free and democratic way of life.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she
STABILITY AND CHANGE: Flagging in recent polls, Ko this week pledged to maintain President Tsai’s foreign policy, with an emphasis on improving China relations Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) Chairman and presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday reiterated that he is “deep-green at heart” in response to accusations that he is pivoting his campaign to align closer with the ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in the face of flagging polls. Ko made the remark at an agricultural policy conference in Taipei, repeating his comments from an interview with CTS News a day earlier. Ko told the CTS host that he would continue to pursue President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national defense and foreign policy in general, but with an emphasis on establishing a rapport with