(ATR) The IOC wants to nip in the bid any effort to replace Chinese Taipei as the name used by athletes from the island of Taiwan when competing at the Olympic Games.
Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) secretary-general Shen Yi-ting told the country’s state-owned Central News Agency (CNA) that the IOC has informed the government that it would not approve any name change from Chinese Taipei.
The move by the IOC appears to be a pre-emptive strike against efforts by several groups who are calling for the use of the name Taiwan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The advocates of the name change want to hold a referendum to decide the issue.
Shen told the CNA that the CTOC is not backing the referendum but it also cannot prevent it from moving forward. She added that the CTOC forwarded the IOC letter to various government agencies to address.
The campaign for the name change released a statement saying that the necessary signatures needed to hold a referendum have yet to be gathered. It questioned why the IOC was denying a name change before the request was made.
What to call the island nation has been a prickly issue for decades.
After the Chinese Civil War came to an end in 1949, the mainland became the People’s Republic of China. The political entity controlling the Republic of China fled to the island of Taiwan, forming a government. The international community, including the IOC, originally recognized the Republic of China and sports body Chinese National Olympic Committee.
The PRC regards the island as a renegade province, leading to chronic disputes for the IOC to settle between the two Chinas. Although recognized by the IOC in 1954, the Chinese Olympic Committee did not send a team to the summer Olympics until 1984, largely due to the battles over protocol and national recognition.
Taiwanese Olympians were barred completely from the 1976 Montreal Olympics. At the time Canada recognized the PRC as the only legitimate government of China.
Three years later came a landmark IOC Executive Board decision in Nagoya, Japan. Known as "The Nagoya Resolution" the IOC agreed to a new name, Chinese Taipei, along with a flag and anthem. Eventually signed in 1981, the agreement led to the return of both the COC and new Chinese Taipei NOC to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.
C.K. Wu, the IOC member from Chinese Taipei, says the country should respect "The Nagoya Resolution", telling CNA that making sure the country’s athletes are allowed to compete in the Olympics is more important than the name of the country they represent.
Homepage photo: IOC
Written by Gerard Farekand Aaron Bauer
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