Taiwan's Olympic Committee affirms "Chinese Taipei" name

2018/11/06 21:25:14 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Lin Hong-dow (林鴻道)

Lin Hong-dow (林鴻道)

Taipei, Nov. 6 (CNA) The head of Taiwan's Olympic Committee expressed concern Tuesday that a proposal to change the name of the Taiwanese team in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from "Chinese Taipei" to "Taiwan" could cause Taiwan to lose its Olympic membership.

Lin Hong-dow (林鴻道), president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC), said at a press conference that the committee will abide by the 1981 Lausanne Agreement.

"Ensuring our athletes' right to compete in the Olympic Games will be our top priority," Lin said.

He added that the committee will comply with the agreement between the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the CTOC signed in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1981 that allowed Taiwanese athletes back into the Olympic games under the name "Chinese Taipei."

Lin's comments came after the IOC wrote a letter Oct. 16 to the CTOC seeking information about the country's referendum procedure ahead of a plebiscite on whether Taiwan should request to attend the Tokyo Olympics under the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei."

Ten referendums will be held alongside the Nov. 24 local elections, including one that asks voters whether they agree that Taiwan should apply to participate in all international sporting events using the name "Taiwan."

In an earlier letter sent in May, the IOC said that the name "Chinese Taipei" cannot be changed because it was determined in the 1981 Lausanne agreement.

Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka (谷辣斯.尤達卡) said that regardless of the result of the name change referendum, it represents public opinion and should be respected by all sectors of society.

The government takes a "hands off" approach toward the CTOC as it is a civic organization, but will respect Lin's stance, Kolas said.

She added that politics should not interfere with sports and that the right of Taiwanese athletes to compete in international sporting events should not be suppressed politically.

(By Ku Chuan and Evelyn Kao)
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