The four nominated athletes from Taiwan will take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Games in Beijing on Friday after all. According to the Chinese Taipei National Olympic Committee (CTOC), instructions have been received from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Taiwan’s government previously announced that its sporting officials would not be attending the celebrations. This was justified with travel problems and the strict COVID-19 measures surrounding the games in China’s capital.
The CTOC said it had received “several communications” from the IOC “urging all delegations to the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics to cooperate in sending staff to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.”
It added that it would “adjust” its plan and “co-operate with the policy of sending staff to the opening and closing ceremonies.” It was initially unclear how many representatives of the 15-strong Taiwanese delegation, including three female and one male athlete, will take part in the major event. A boycott of the ceremony, at least by the Taiwanese officials, is still a possibility.
China insists that the offshore island nation of Taiwan is part of its territory. Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed last fall that reunification must be completed.
Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Josef Wu said in an interview published by ZDF on Tuesday that it was “obvious that China would like to attack Taiwan at some point”. You have to be prepared for that, says Wu.
According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, 39 Chinese warplanes entered the island’s air defense zone on Jan. 23. A group of protesters gathered in front of the Bank of China in Taipei on Tuesday to demonstrate against hosting the Winter Games in Beijing.
The dispute over Taiwan’s sovereignty is why the country’s athletes compete at the Olympics under the name Chinese Taipei (Chinese Taipei).