Taiwanese Paralympians Forced to Wear KMT Emblem after China Pressured Officials

Taiwanese Paralympians Forced to Wear KMT Emblem after China Pressured Officials
Photo Credit: REUTERS/達志影像
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Taiwanese athletes at the Paralympics wore the emblem of Taiwan's opposition party after China piled pressure on international sport administrators.

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Taiwanese athletes at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics were forced to change the emblem on their uniforms after pressure from China.

Chinese Taipei Paralympic Committee (CTPC) chair Chen Lee-chou (陳李綢) said that two weeks before the Paralympics opened, Chinese authorities protested against the emblem on Taiwan’s uniform — the 12 white spokes of a sun touching the rim of a blue circle — and requested it be changed to the version of the sun used by Taiwan’s Beijing-friendly opposition party, the Kuomintang (KMT), in which the 12 spokes do not connect with the rim.

Chen, speaking this morning, said the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) then sent a letter to Taiwan, which competes under the name Chinese Taipei, requesting the emblem be changed before the games started.

The committee, concerned that athletes may not be eligible to compete, subsequently decided to cover the national emblem on the athletes' uniforms with stickers using the KMT version of the emblem, she says.

Chen added that while the IPC did not adopt a strong attitude on the matter, the CTPC still felt political pressure from China. She called on the government to clarify whether the national emblem or the KMT emblem conforms to the rules.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) received Taiwan’s athletes from the 2016 Summer Paralympics this morning in Taipei.

First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole