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Old 28 Sep 2017, 01:47 PM   #1
davestephans
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A side Contest looms for Its Beijing Olympics: Island vs. Mainland

From six dining table tennis tables in the Olympic training centre here comes the rhythmic clack-clack-clack of chunk against paddle contrary to tabletop.

Outside, the tropical warmth of southern Taiwan appears to wither even the palm trees, while indoors, the players split into a sweat at the mere idea of the: trading functions with the team out of mainland China at the Olympic Games next month.

"Regardless of how great China is, we expect to get a medal in the Olympics," a participant named Chang Yen-shu said after seeing his teammates clinic 1 morning " They are hosting the contest and they understand everything nicely. They are the very best players on the planet. Until today, nobody has managed to conquer them."
Telephone it Ping-Pong diplomacy throughout the Taiwan Strait: mainland China lobs balls rather than missiles in the islanders, and the Taiwanese get to battle back.
Mr. Chang, 29, along with another four members of Taiwan's table tennis delegation intention to mad mainland China in its nationwide obsession. On the Olympic competition program, Mr. Chang's group isn't in precisely the exact same portion of the attraction as China, therefore the Taiwanese have high hopes of confronting their nemesis from the best ping pong paddles.

China has won 33 Olympic medals in table tennis, 16 of these gold Taiwan has won just a silver and a bronze both made by Chen Jing, a girl who immigrated in the mainland.
A trophy game between China and Taiwan are among the fantastic underdog-versus-top-dog narratives of the Games, not just due to the dominance of China from the game, but also due to the exceptional connection between the mainland and the island. The Communist Party regards Taiwan, a flourishing democracy of 23 million, as a rebel province that has to be brought back into the fold, by force if needed.

Taiwanese athletes insist that the Olympics are all about sports, not politics. Anyway, connections between mainland China and Taiwan have been on the upswing following Ma Ying-Jeou, the conciliatory Taiwanese president, was inaugurated in May.

Nevertheless the mainland and Taiwan have a lengthy history of political competition over the Olympics, such as a battle over the route of the season's torch relay, therefore Taiwan's involvement at the initial Games on Chinese land has the potential for volatility.
Taiwan's contingent includes 76 athletes competing in 14 sports, together with medal favorites in tae kwon do, archery and weight lifting. Olympic pride was climbing in Taiwan ever since two tae kwon do athletes, a guy and a female, every brought back a gold medal in the 2004 Games in Athens -- the very first gold for Taiwan. (The island's most athletes have won six silvers and seven bronzes.)


However, some Taiwanese officials fear that Beijing could mar following month's Games by attempting to fuse politics and sports by identifying the Taiwanese delegation in a way that indicate that the island is owned by the mainland.

"We are Somewhat worried," said Tsai Ing-wen, the chairwoman of the Democratic Progressive Party, which dominated that island for eight years before this May and has attempted to space Taiwan from the mainland. " What we fear is treated such as Hong Kong or Macao, that are a part of China."

In the Core of the stress is a political debate over the Chinese words to the title of this Olympic delegation from Taiwan, known in English as Chinese Taipei.
The Chinese term for the first portion of the title is formally Zhonghua. This comes in Zhonghua Minguo, or Republic of China, the title the dominant political group, the Kuomintang, favors for Taiwan.

Mainland China signed a deal with Taiwan in 1989 recognizing Zhonghua Taipei -- Chinese Taipei -- since the title for Taiwan's delegation. Years before, Taiwan had promised that the International Olympic Committee that it'd make a gesture to the mainland by simply modifying its delegation's unique name rather than using the official Taiwanese flag or the national anthem from the Olympics.

But sports officials around the mainland frequently predict the Taiwanese delegation Zhongguo Taipei. Zhongguo, meaning Middle Kingdom, is the Chinese name for China.
Referring to the Taiwanese delegation since Zhongguo Taipei suggests the athletes and also the island that they represent are a part of China.

Sports announcers at China frequently use the title Zhongguo Taipei when speaking about Taiwanese athletes, and hints at sports events around the american screen that title.

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"I have been to rivals in China in which some referees say, 'You are Zhongguo Taipei,' " said Mr. Chang, the table tennis player " We say, 'No, we are Zhonghua Taipei. They say, 'Why?' On occasion the mainland athletes joke about that."

Tsai Chen-wei, president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, said He'd complain to the International Olympic Committee if mainland officials insisted on phoning the Taiwanese delegation from the Incorrect name " If They Wish to change our title, it is annoying," stated Mr. Tsai, a former baseball player using a gruff voice. " I might wind up putting myself at risk. I am the president so I must defend this title"

Telephone and written questions on the Topic of Taiwan made into the Beijing organizing committee for the Summer Games went undercover.

Mr. Tsai said individuals may also see political importance from the repositioning of the Taiwanese delegation from the opening service.

Before Games, when delegations marched into the Olympic arena in alphabetical order by their titles, the Taiwanese athletes entered together with all the T countries. In Beijing, delegations will march in based on their Chinese names. That eliminates any proposal of the title of Taiwan, Mr. Tsai said, also places the delegation of Chinese Taipei alongside that of the African American Republic. " We favor T," he explained.

As early as a year ago, political tensions between China and Taiwan left their mark about the forthcoming Games. The Taiwanese government headed by Chen Shui-bian, the president, that strove to maneuver Taiwan closer to formal independence, determined in April 2007 to not enable the flashlight to pass through the island since the fire would subsequently proceed to Hong Kong, representing that Taiwan was a part of China.

That canceled an arrangement Mr. Tsai had signed up in Beijing in December 2006 permitting the flashlight to come through Taiwan. Mr. Tsai stated in the interview he was frustrated with the government's conclusion.

"Eventually, after over 40 Decades, We'd have experienced the torch relay through Taiwan," he explained. " The flashlight has not come because the Summer Games were held in Tokyo in 1964."

The modern Olympics have been a battle in the battle between Taiwan and southern China over political validity. From the 1950s, the Chinese Communists lobbied the International Olympic Committee to banish Taiwan in the Games. But at the cold-war age, Taiwan had strong backing from the USA, so in 1958 China withdrew from the committee in protest. That self-imposed exile didn't finish until 1979, following the United States recognized the Communist authorities.

Mainland China and Taiwan didn't participate at a Summer Olympics jointly before the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.

"Beijing's main interest in the Olympic Games and Olympic motion was supposed to look for legitimacy from the world arena, particularly given the West's recognition of the Nationalist government in Taiwan," Xu Guoqi, a professor of East Asian heritage in Kalamazoo College, composed in "Olympic Dreams," a new publication on the history of China and the Olympics.

In the last few years, Taiwanese athletes visiting the mainland for a variety of contests -- over 100 annually -- have been welcomed rather than derided, Mr. Tsai said.
Sung Yu-chi, 27, a first time Olympian in tae kwon do, stated, "Sports and politics are divided."

He sat saturated in sweat after a morning exercise " In China, since we are the Exact Same ethnicity, it is easier to compete," he explained. " They constantly show their hospitality to people"

However, Taiwan has long existed in the shadow of China, as well as among Mr. Sung's tae kwon do teammates stated she expected to use the Olympics to declare the island's existence on the planet.

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"We need to win gold medals individuals on Earth understand about Taiwan," stated the teammate, '' Yang Shu-chun, 22. " Taiwan is quite near China, but it is only a little island. I fear people do not understand where Taiwan is. However, when I win a gold trophy, folks will ask, 'Where is Taiwan?' And attempt to get to know us"

Last edited by davestephans : 15 Jan 2018 at 04:31 PM.
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