Taiwanese officials are poised to boycott next month’s Beijing Winter Olympics, an official with knowledge of the matter said yesterday, citing concerns that China would slight Taiwan during the Games.
This year’s Winter Olympics are scheduled to open on Friday next week amid a diplomatic boycott by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Lithuania, New Zealand, the UK and the US in response to China’s human rights abuses against Uighurs in Xinjiang and crackdowns on democracy advocates in Hong Kong.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official said that a Cabinet-appointed task force has determined that Taiwan’s delegation would abstain from the opening and closing ceremonies, and limit its role to looking after the nation’s athletes.
The Ministry of Education is to announce the makeup of Taiwan’s team this week, the official said.
The task force, created by the Executive Yuan, the Ministry of Education and the Mainland Affairs Council, was concerned that the presence of a delegation would give legitimacy to diplomatic slights that Beijing is sure to make against Taiwan, the official said.
The Winter Games is the most significant platform for China to push its propaganda that Taiwan is a part of its sovereign territory, they said.
China has already made known that the order of national teams in the opening ceremony would be determined by a system based on the number and sequence of strokes in the characters that make up their name in simplified Chinese, the official said.
Taiwanese athletes would precede athletes from Hong Kong, which is intended to give credence to Beijing’s claims that Taiwan is Chinese territory, they said.
Taiwan would also be referred to as “Chinese Taipei” in the ceremonies as part of Beijing’s campaign to denigrate the nation on the international stage, they added.
The nation’s intelligence community has said that Beijing intends to display pro-unification messages, refer to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei” and prominently feature Taiwanese volunteers in its propaganda videos, the official said.
China had set a precedent by boycotting sports events hosted by Taiwan, including the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung, in which its delegation of 72 athletes was absent from the opening ceremony, they said.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be