Beijing and Chinese state media have been attempting to downgrade Taiwan’s national status during the Tokyo Olympic Games by using the term “China Taipei” (中國台北), a report released yesterday by the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) showed.
Taiwan regularly competes as “Chinese Taipei” at international sporting events based on a 1981 agreement to satisfy objections from Beijing and the then-ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government.
IORG found that Chinese government agencies referred to Taiwan’s Olympic delegation as “China Taipei” or “China Taiwan” (中國台灣) in their reports and online messages.
IORG said that it based its analysis on public communications found on Chinese social media giant Sina Weibo.
On the Sina Weibo account of Xinhua news agency, official accounts of government agencies and state media outlets with more than 100,000 followers, “China Taipei” was used 83.39 percent of the time when referring to Taiwan’s Olympic athletes and teams, it said, with similar terms used other times.
“This reflects the success of the Chinese government’s policy, which has numerous restrictions to control language use and terminology on social media, and has a strong influence on Sina Weibo users,” the report said.
Since the start of the Games on July 23 through Sunday last week, there have been 1,607 messages using “China Taipei,” “China Taiwan” or “Chinese Taipei” (中華台北) from 835 official Sina Weibo accounts of Chinese government agencies and media, the report showed.
“China Taipei” was the most common term, used in 1,340 messages; “China Taiwan” appeared in 209 postings; and “Chinese Taipei” was used in 95 messages.
The report said that China deliberately encouraged the use of the terms to refer to Taiwan’s Olympic delegation to indicate that Taipei or Taiwan was under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government.
Additional reporting by CNA
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