'Taiwan' disappears in Universiade English media guide

2017/08/08 22:04:37 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
From Taipei Universiade official web site

From Taipei Universiade official web site

Taipei, Aug. 8 (CNA) The name "Chinese Taipei" may be familiar to people who follow international sports meets because it is the name that Taiwan has been forced to use over the past 36 years to participate in various international events.

But the appearance of the "Chinese Taipei" term in parts of the English-language media guide for the upcoming 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei has taken the use of the substitute name to a new level.

In the guide, "Chinese Taipei" is used not only to refer to the Taiwanese team and delegation, but also the actual island of Taiwan.

"Chinese Taipei is long and narrow [and] lies north to south. It has an area of around 36,000 square kilometers (14,400 square miles) and has a population of around 23 million people," the guide reads.

(from Universiade media guide)

Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) of the New Power Party posted excerpts of the guide on his Facebook page on Monday and took issue with that particular section, calling it absurd.

"Such an absurd English sentence has appeared in the media guide for the upcoming Universiade," Huang wrote. "Originally, this was a great opportunity to market Taiwan to the world, but it is unbelievable that we have to introduce ourselves in this unjust way."

Another section of the media guide refers to Chinese Taipei as "a special island" and touts the culture of "its capital Taipei."

"It is hoped that the Taipei 2017 Summer Universiade will allow Chinese Taipei to be in the spotlight of the world, attract the world to Chinese Taipei and let the world remember Chinese Taipei," the guide says.

In response to the controversy, Hsieh Pei-chun (謝佩君) at the Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism said Tuesday the term Chinese Taipei was substituted by the International University Sports Federation (FISU), the organizing body of the Universiade.

In the original English-language media guide submitted by her department, Hsieh said, the name "Taiwan" was written but the FISU changed it to "Chinese Taipei." Hsieh, a section chief, said her department had been in discussion for six months on the name issue with the FISU, which insisted that the Olympic model should be followed throughout the guide.

Yang Ching-tang (楊景棠), a spokesman for the Aug. 19-30 Taipei Universiade, also confirmed that the FISU has made changes to the guide, and said that all English manuals related to the Universiade have to be reviewed by the FISU before publication.

Taiwan signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee in 1981 to use the name "Chinese Taipei" to compete in the Olympic Games, therefore, it must follow the Olympic formula, he said.

In 1971, Taiwan -- officially the Republic of China (ROC) -- was forced to withdraw from the United Nations after the People's Republic of China (PRC) was recognized as the only lawful representative of China to the U.N.

To continue to compete in the Olympic Games, Taiwan signed an agreement with the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland in 1981 to use the name "Chinese Taipei," and to carry a flag bearing the Olympic rings and a white sun in blue sky, instead of the ROC national flag, as its Olympic flag.

Lin De-fu (林德福), director of the Ministry of Education's Sports Administration, told CNA Tuesday that the controversial descriptions in the Universiade guide were "very odd."

Lin said that while he understood that the Olympic formula must be applied to the Universiade guide, it was awkward to refer to the geographical island as "Chinese Taipei" instead of "Taiwan."

But according to Yang, even though Taiwan must be referred to as "Chinese Taipei" in the media guide, Taiwanese elements will be present at the actual event.

For example, the Universiade medals will bear traditional Chinese characters, which are used in Taiwan, and authentic Taiwanese cuisine will be served in the athletes' village, to promote Taiwan to the world, he said.

(By Christie Chen, Lee Ching-wei and Liang Pei-chi)

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