Taiwan or Chinese Taipei? Name Issue Grows Ahead of 2020

Photo Courtesy: Andy Ross

Chinese Taipei or Taiwan?

The island nation is independent, but treated by China as a breakaway province. It has been known as many things, including Chinese Taipei, Republic of China and Taiwan.

But on Monday, Taiwanese campaigners submitted hundreds of thousands of signatures for a referendum to compete as “Taiwan” and not “Chinese Taipei” in the next Olympics. The more than a half million signatures is enough for a referendum to take place, according to multiple news outlets.

A vote could happen at the general election on Nov. 24. At least 25 percent of Taiwan’s 19 million eligible voters must vote yes, the results would then have to be ratified by parliament, according to Reuters.

At the Asian Games in Indonesia the past two weeks, the island is officially called Chinese Taipei and has a white flag with the Olympic rings. It’s own flag is banned, according to The Associated Press.

“I hope the international community will continue to care about Taiwan’s situation so we can be treated fairly,” athlete Chi Cheng, Taiwan’s first female Olympic medalist who co-led the campaign, told Reuters.

The 1972 Olympics in Munich was the last in which Taiwan competed under the name of the Republic of China. It boycotted the next several games and did not return until 1984, agreeing to use the name Chinese Taipei.