Chinese Taipei

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Image:Chinese Taipei Olympic Flag.svg
Chinese Taipei Olympic Flag

Chinese Taipei (Traditional Chinese: 中華臺北; Simplified Chinese: 中华台北; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Táiběi) is the designated name used by the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in most international organizations. Due to the insistence of the People's Republic of China (PRC) under its version of the One-China policy, ROC cannot use "Republic of China" or "Taiwan" to imply any independent sovereignty when participating in international organizations (see political status of Taiwan).

There are two versions of Chinese translations used in the ROC and PRC, respectively. The official form is Zhōnghuá Táibĕi (中華臺北), which is used in the ROC and in the official documents. The PRC prefers Zhōngguó Táibĕi (中國臺北), which could be taken to mean "Taipei, China", to suggest that Taiwan is a part of the Chinese state. The government of the ROC considers Zhōngguó Táibĕi offensive, as it places the ROC team on the same level as those of Hong Kong, China, and Macao, China, while Taiwan independence supporters consider it repugnant for suggesting that the team is Chinese at all.


[edit] Origins

The People's Republic of China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, effectively blocks the Republic of China on Taiwan from using the title "Republic of China" in international organizations. To the PRC, having the team represented as the "Republic of China" suggests either the continued existence of a state that PRC believes it has toppled or the existence of two Chinas, a contravention of the One-China Policy.

When international organisations downgraded or even expelled Taiwan in the 1970s and 1980s in favor of recognizing the PRC, the Kuomintang-controlled ROC government refused to be designated as "Taiwan, China" because the title would imply that it was subordinate to the mainland Chinese government. At the time, the Kuomintang (KMT) government also rejected the names "Taiwan" and "Formosa" because it still considered itself the sole legitimate government of all of China and refused any hint of Taiwan independence. Therefore, it chose what was considered a politically neutral title "Chinese Taipei", even though Taipei is just a metropolitan region small in proportion to the entire Taiwan area.

In November of 1979 the International Olympic Committee and later all the international sports federations adopted a resolution which recognised the National Olympic Committee of Taiwan as the National Olympic Committee of Chinese Taipei and every sports team or athlete from Taiwan would compete as Chinese Taipei. Under this resolution, Chinese Taipei adopted the Chinese Taipei Olympic Flag as their flag, which consists of the emblem of the National Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee on a white background and since 1984 Summer Olympics participate with this name, and flag in every sports events like the Olympics, Paralympics and other international events.

The flag, however, is not recognised on some media references. In 1992, during the Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, CBS used the flag of the Republic of China with the official "TPE" code. During the 2004 Summer Olympics, the Australian Baseball Federation Web site used a waving National Flag to refer to the country. Some news and web sites prefer to use the National Flag.

[edit] Consequences

The name "Chinese Taipei" has spilled into apolitical arenas. Flight schedules from official airport websites such as those for Los Angeles International Airport and San Francisco International Airport list flights to and from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport as "Taipei, Chinese Taipei." The PRC has even successfully pressured some religious organizations and organizations such as the Lions Club to have Taiwan relegated to "Chinese Taipei". When Taiwanese participants in apolitical events emphasize that they come from Taiwan rather than "Chinese Taipei", they are often accused by the PRC of having a political agenda.

In 2000, China's government pressured the Miss Universe Organization to order the renaming of Miss Taiwan 2000 to "Miss Chinese Taipei". Three years later at the Miss Universe pageant in Panama, the first official Miss China and Miss Taiwan competed alongside each other for the first time in history, prompting the Chinese government to again demand that Miss Taiwan assume the title Miss Chinese Taipei. The contestant in question, Szu-yu Chen, was famously photographed tearfully holding her two sashes. Today, neither Miss Universe nor Miss World, the two largest pageant systems in the world, allow Taiwan's entrants to compete under the Taiwan label. In 2005, the third largest pageant system, Miss Earth, initially allowed beauty contestant Li Fan Lin to compete as "Miss Taiwan", however after a week into the pageant her sash was updated to "Taiwan ROC". There was no subsequent backlash or government disapproval from the PRC over this move.

Image:Chinese Taipei Football Flag.svg
Chinese Taipei Football Flag
Image:Chinese Taipei Paralympic Flag.svg
Chinese Taipei Paralympic Flag

The title "Chinese Taipei" leads some people to believe that "Taipei" is a country. To reduce confusion, news agencies remove "Chinese Taipei" references from press releases of international organizations and simply refer to the ROC as "Taiwan". For sporting events, the Taiwanese team is abbreviated in Taiwan as the Zhonghua Team (中華隊; Zhonghua being a more cultural rather than political variation of the term China), which, in effect, labels it the "Chinese Team".

Starting around the time of the 2004 Summer Olympics, there has been a movement in Taiwan to change all references of the ROC team in media to the "Taiwanese Team", and the mainstream Taiwan Television (TTV) is one of the first Taiwanese media outlets to do so. There are currently also cable TV channels that refer to Taiwan as the Zhonghua Team and China as the Zhongguo Team as if Zhonghua and Zhongguo (both of which technically mean "Chinese") mean totally different things.

In contrast to Taiwanese usage, the PRC always labels the Taiwanese team as the Zhongguo Taibei Team (中国台北队 or "Taipei, China Team", using the PRC's preferred translation for the term) to avoid either suggesting that Taiwan is independent or that the ROC is China. In the International Children's Games 2005 in Coventry as well as the National Geographic World Championship, the name Chinese Taipei was used. Chinese Taipei was also the term being used by Major League Baseball for the ROC team that participated in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, much to the ire of United States Representative Tom Tancredo, and will presumably be the case in the future.

The current Democratic Progressive Party government's policy on Taiwan's name in international settings is ambiguous.

As for the Republic of China on Taiwan de facto embassies abroad, pro-Taiwan independence groups have unsuccessfully petitioned to have the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) renamed the more official-sounding "Taiwan Representative Office." Foreign Minister Eugene Chien also promoted the idea of making the newly established ROC embassy in Kiribati the first to bear the name "Taiwan". The ROC government also altered the cover of the ROC passport to include the name "Taiwan": its official explanation for the addition was to avoid confusion at foreign immigration and customs that the passport holder is a citizen of the Republic of China on Taiwan, not from the PRC on the mainland.

Recent statements from the mainland suggest that even though they once preferred the term Taiwan, reports suggest that their leadership may now prefer the use of the term "Republic of China" when referring to Taiwan. However the PRC government has never officially used the term "Republic of China" to refer either to Taiwan or to its government, preferring the terms "Taiwan, China" and "the present regime in Taiwan" instead. On January 6, 2005, the New Straits Times reported: "Similarly, in the past Beijing did all it could to prevent the usage of the name "Republic of China".

[edit] Other references to Taiwan and the ROC

Whenever the United Nations makes reference to Taiwan, it uses the designation "Taiwan, Province of China", which actually refers to the province the People's Republic of China claims. Certain web-based postal address programs also label the country designation name for Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China" to the chagrin of the Taiwanese postal authorities. In 2005, a pro-Taiwanese group in the US had Amtrak apologize for using "Taiwan, Province of China" in its website[citation needed].

In other organizations such as the World Trade Organization, the name "Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu" is used for the ROC, but "Chinese Taipei" is used unofficially since the official designation is too unwieldy. As a founding member of the Asian Development Bank, the ROC participated in the organization as "Republic of China" until PRC's membership in 1986; because of pressure from PRC, Asian Development Bank now uses the name "Taipei, China" for the ROC.

The World Organization of the Scout Movement is one of few international organizations that continue to refer to the Republic of China as "China", and the ROC affiliate as the Scouts of China. This is because such scouting organizations do not exist in mainland China. The ROC's older diplomatic allies also refer to the ROC as "China" on occasion: for example, during the funeral of Pope John Paul II, President Chen Shui-bian was seated as part of the French alphabetical seating arrangement between the first lady of Brazil and the president of Cameroon as the head of state of "Chine".

[edit] Political interference in the airline industry

When a country establishes diplomatic relationship with the PRC under the One China policy, it is often agreed that the flag carrier of the ROC (China Airlines) be not given landing rights in that country. Since flag carrier landing rights are reciprocal, several national airlines created subsidiaries in order to get landing rights from the Taiwan authorities for their flights into Taiwan. For instance, when British Airways served Taiwan, it did business as British Asia Airways. Similar creations have included KLM Asia and Japan Asia Airways (part of Japan Airlines). Lufthansa painted one of its Boeing 747-400 jets in the livery of its charter subsidiary, Condor in order to fly to Taipei.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

fr:Chinese Taipei ko:차이니즈 타이베이 it:Taipei Cinese ms:Taipei Cina nl:Chinees Taipei ja:チャイニーズタイペイ fi:Kiinan Taipei zh:中華台北

Chinese Taipei

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