2017 Universiade opens in Taipei

The 29th Summer Universiade, the world university games, opens tonight in a ceremony at Taipei Stadium in Taiwan’s capital city. More than 7,000 athletes from 144 countries are competing in 22 sporting events. The ceremony features cultural and music performances, speeches from Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je and International University Sports Federation (FISU) President Oleg Matytsin (Russia), and lighting of the ceremonial flame. The parade of nations was interrupted by anti-pension reform protesters, resulting in most athletes having to enter the stadium after all flag bearers have passed through. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced the opening of the games. Continue reading “2017 Universiade opens in Taipei”

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Government to abolish Mongolian & Tibetan affairs commission

roc_mongolian_and_tibetan_affairs_commission_logoTaiwan’s Executive Yuan today approved a draft bill to abolish the Mongolian & Tibetan Affairs Commission (MTAC), a ministry-level agency responsible for Mongolian and Tibetan affairs by the end of this year. Much of its portfolio has already been transferred to the foreign ministry and the Mainland Affairs Council, leaving it as a primarily cultural promotion agency. Its current staff and portfolio will be absorbed by the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of Culture. The commission maintains the Mongolian and Tibetan Cultural Center in Taipei. Continue reading “Government to abolish Mongolian & Tibetan affairs commission”

Taiwan is called what in the 2017 Universiade?

Update (11 August): After much reporting by Taiwanese media, the media guide published by the organizing committee has changed all geographical reference of the island in the kit to Taiwan. FISU’s page about the 2017 Universiade retains odd language using Chinese Taipei.

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The 29th Summer Universiade, the world university games, will be held in Taipei, Taiwan during 19-30 August, 2017. Touted as a great opportunity to showcase Taiwan on the international stage after Kaohsiung hosted the World Games and Taipei hosted the Deaflympics, both in 2009, Taipei is busy preparing for games and the opening ceremony, which Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen is expected to attend.

Despite all the fanfare and being the hosting country, Taiwan is not called Taiwan during the games. The English media guide introduces Taiwan under the title “Introduction of Our Island-Chinese Taipei” and continues with “Chinese Taipei is long and narrow[.]” Continue reading “Taiwan is called what in the 2017 Universiade?”

Oil spill covers Green Island shore

Seashore of Green Island off Taiwan’s southeastern coast was found covered in heavy waste oil on March 10. A local resident first posted about the spill on Facebook, prompting the government to rush to contain and clean up the waster oil. The oil appeared to have been illegally dumped north of Green Island by a large vessel.

Environmental Protection Administration official estimates today that the clean up will take a week to complete, while a vessel has been identified as possibly responsible for the spill. EPA and foreign ministry officials have not named the ship company nor its nationality.

Chinese Taipei?

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Every four years, whenever the Summer Olympics comes along*, I inevitably get the question, “why is Taiwan called Chinese Taipei in the Olympics?”

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Taiwan’s official flag, Chinese Taipei Olympic flag, and the Olympics rings

CNN provides an explanation for this, but I want to give it more context. Continue reading “Chinese Taipei?”

Relaunch

After more than two years of absence, I am finally back at a place where I am able to blog and share things about Taiwan regularly. A lot certainly has changed in the past two and a half years. To start off with the relaunch, I switched the theme for the blog so that words and pictures are now bigger and hopefully easier to read. I also just spent the past hour deleting posts that are no longer relevant and fixing broken links and missing pictures. Do share anything you think could be improved and I will do my best. I also put up a post about the election two months ago, so check it out!

A more drastic change would be to the content of this blog. As more and more information becomes available, I have been thinking and learning about Taiwan’s past, present, and future in ways that I haven’t had before. As a millennial, my generation has been labelled as “pro-independence by birth 天然獨” in Taiwan, which, depending on where you stand on the issue, could be a very good thing or very bad thing. All the same, it is apparently very puzzling to the older generations in Taiwan as well as the People’s Republic of China how “pro-independence by birth” came to be and is possible. I can’t say that my perspective can represent everyone’s, because that’s not how a democratic society operates. But from now on, this blog will be my way to give my two cents about how the younger generation thinks about Taiwan and its future. It’s not easy, and probably not going to be pleasant, but absolutely necessary if Taiwan is ever going to become a “normal” country without causing war.

Quite fittingly, the Sunflower Movement was two years ago, and while I wasn’t able to be a part of it, I am certainly in awe of the change it has brought to Taiwan. If change can come from ordinary citizens who are actually concerned about a place, then I think the society has a lot to look forward to.