A group of baseball fans yesterday defied a ban on showing support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests by arriving at the Asian Baseball Championship game between Japan and Hong Kong at National Taiwan University of Sport’s stadium in Taichung dressed in black and carrying banners.
Citing “Olympic rules” banning political or discriminatory slogans, the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association on Tuesday said that “political activities” by spectators at games involving Hong Kong would be prohibited.
Ballpark staff had been instructed to remove all such displays from bleachers, check all entry points and remove anyone found in breach of the rules, it said.
“If fans do not cooperate, they will jeopardize Taiwan’s future participation in the series and the nation’s bids to host games, diminishing its exposure on the international stage and adversely affecting sports development in Taiwan,” the association said.
The statement caused a furor, with some critics saying association officials had buckled under pressure from China and wanted to avoid any action that would displease Beijing.
On online sports forums, people said that the association has always been controlled by powerful figures and organizations connected to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and has long suppressed fans’ expression of pro-Taiwanese independence opinions.
Denis Chen (陳致豪), an administrator of the Web site Light4HK, helped organize yesterday’s defiance.
He posted messages calling for spectators carry banners, dress in black, wear black masks and sit next to Hong Kong’s dugout to show their support for the protesters.
“The association is trampling on the freedom of expression. It cited so-called ‘Olympic rules,’ with which most people are unfamiliar, to obfuscate the issue and hoodwink the public,” Chen said. “It wants to eliminate all forms of support for Hong Kong to please Chinese officials… This is shameful.”
“The ‘Olympic rules’ that were cited are unrelated to banners and flags held by fans. To express my own ideas from the audience at a ballpark is part of freedom of speech,” he said.
“By expressing our support for Hong Kong, we are upholding universal values. We cheer on Hong Kong’s players, not only to encourage them, but also to endorse their courage to fight for their freedom,” he added.
On Monday at a game between Taiwan and Hong Kong at the university’s stadium, several groups of fans dressed in black donned black masks as a gesture of solidarity with Hong Kong protesters.
The mostly young fans carried banners that read: “Free Hong Kong,” “We stand with Hong Kong” and “Defend Taiwan, fight against China, liberate Hong Kong” while yelling out slogans throughout the game.
“We see that Hong Kong people are facing a difficult situation, so for us in Taiwan, we just want to show them our support and give them encouragement,” one fan was quoted as saying by local media.
After Monday’s game, as players from both sides gathered for a group photograph, some of Hong Kong’s players waved at the fans with banners, and several tipped their caps at them and gave them thumbs-ups.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the