Tokyo Olympics: Taiwan welcomes Olympians home with fighter escort, pride in name – News Vibe24

    Tokyo Olympics: Taiwan welcomes Olympians home with fighter escort, pride in name - Times of India
    TAIPEI: The Taiwanese Olympians flew home for a big reception on Wednesday after the Games show that has boosted pride on the Chinese-claimed island and rekindled calls to fight under the name Taiwan.
    Four carousel fighter jets, which fired flares, accompanied the flight before landing at Taoyuan Airport near the capital Taipei, where crowds greeted the team shouting “Pride for Taiwan” and carrying placards reading “national”
    With 11 medals so far in Tokyo, Taiwan’s performance has brought joy to the island, with politicians and celebrities taking part to mark their celebrations on social media “Team Taiwan” and “Taiwan is Taiwan”.
    It has also sparked a debate over whether to compete as “Taiwan” rather than “Chinese Taipei”, a name used at the insistence of Beijing, which sees the island as part of “one China” and has threatened to use violence to bring the democratically governed island under its control.
    China regularly pressures international groups and companies to refer to Taiwan as part of China, saying it has no right to be recognized in any sphere as a separate country.
    “It is a dead end to seek ‘independence’ at sporting events with tiny tricks,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Service told Reuters on Tuesday.
    In a 2018 referendum, voters on the island rejected an offer to compete in the Olympics as “Taiwan”, with many worried that the name change would push Beijing to try to exclude it from the Games altogether.
    Among those who returned home on Wednesday were Li Yang and Wang Qi-lin, who beat China to win the gold medal in the men’s badminton doubles on Saturday and made a splash by announcing Taiwan’s identity on social media.
    “This is my first time seeing fighter jets. It’s very cool,” Wang told reporters, who was greeted with applause.
    In a Facebook post with photos of a jet along with the passenger plane and pilots preparing for the escort mission, the Taiwan Ministry of Defense thanked the athletes.
    “You are showing the world the indomitable spirit of Taiwan,” the ministry wrote.
    In China, the celebration of Taiwan’s identity on the island has sparked cyber-anger, especially since TV star Dee Hsu, who has a high profile in China, referred to the island’s Olympians as “national athletes”.
    “Do not try to make money in mainland China. Go back to Taiwan,” wrote a Twitter-like social media poster on Chinese Weibo.


    Newsvibe24 Source