Saturday, July 28, 2012

The disgrace that is politics of the @Olympics

After a spectacular opening ceremony to the XXX Olympiad in London, I felt rather compelled to share some news of a disappointing nature. For the whole week, I've been Tweeting patriotic messages about my birth country of the Republic of China, also popularly known as Taiwan. But, at every Olympic Games, I always feel a sharp pang of sadness when my team walks into the arena with a "fake" flag. That is because the International Olympic Committee ruled back in 1980 that Taiwan is not a country in the Olympics sense and cannot compete using its own flag, anthem or, indeed, the proper name of the country at the Olympics.

Earlier this week, I discovered through Facebook that the London 2012 organisers decided to fly the real flag at Regent Street in London. This for me was a positive sign that the previous oppressive politics plaguing the great event may be seeing the light of day. However, representatives from the People's Republic of China - the communist controlled country of over 1 billion people - complained to the organisers and demanded the flag be removed from display.

When politics mixes in with sport, it's never a good thing. But when 23 million people on the island of Taiwan, my compatriots, can never cheer for our own team at the games under our own country's flag, anthem and name, it really hurts. This is the awareness I want to share with readers of this blog.

The flag of the Republic of China - a country run under a fully democratically elected government and has been the miracle of Asia in the past few decades thanks to its thriving economy, technological innovation and amazing human spirit - has a significant meaning behind which cannot and should never be erased from history, despite what the communist China wants.

The flag features a Blue Sky, White Sun and Red Earth. The white sun imposed on the blue sky canton is depicted with twelve points, symbolising the traditional twelve hours of the Chinese time keeping method as well as the twelve months of the year. The red earth signifies the martyrs who sacrificed themselves to bring the Chinese People out of the bondage of Imperial China.

This flag became the official flag of the China after the Chinese Revolution and stayed on past World War II until the Nationalist Government was overthrown and moved to the island of Taiwan. In the mid-1970s, the ROC was thrown out of the United Nations, beginning an age when over 20 million Taiwanese citizens were shunned by the international community as an entity not worthy of taking part in international organisations and institutions. This, in turn, meant our nation had to fall behind in everything relating to aid to worldwide decisions on health at the WHO.

Instead of the flag which the entire nation rallied behind through the times of conflict, we have to use a "pseudo flag" designed to appease the communist China government. The Chinese Taipei - as we have to call ourselves during the Olympics - flag is the flag of the National Olympic Committee in Taiwan. It bears very little resemblance to the real national symbol we call our flag.

The anthem of the ROC are words written by the great Dr Sun Yat-Sen, titled the Three Principles of the Chinese People. During the 1936 Olympic Games, this anthem was voted as the best anthem of the Games. Dr Sun Yat-Sen is still regarded as the father of China, even in the communist part.

I dearly wish, that in my lifetime, I will see my country's flag flying high and proud at such a momentous international event as the Olympic Games once again. However, I hold very low hopes because of the insane desire by the international community, in this case, especially the IOC, to appease a government who oppresses its people and practices non-democratic governance.

How ironic... It's a real shame that the Olympic Spirit is tainted by such blatant political oppression...

I will, however, play my part and hang the huge flag of the Republic of China up at home for the duration of the Games.

The National Anthem of the Republic of China

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