Taiwan Changes Decision to Participate in Beijing Olympics Ceremonies After Getting ‘Several Notices’

By Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly
Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer based in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.
February 1, 2022 Updated: February 1, 2022

Taiwan has acceded to the International Olympic Committee’s demands to have delegations take part in the Beijing Winter Olympics ceremonies, following “several notices” over the country’s withdrawal from the ceremonies, its Olympic Committee said on Monday.

Taiwan had previously said that its 15-member athletic delegation, which includes athletes and coaches, will not be attending the opening ceremony of the Games due to delayed flights and COVID-19 prevention measures.

Because Taiwan’s team is small—with only four athletes competing—athletes and team officials will return home after completing their events, skipping the closing ceremony as well, the Sports Ministry said Saturday.

Taiwan had received “several notices” from the International Olympic Committee “requiring all delegations to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to cooperate in sending personnel to attend the opening and closing ceremonies,” Taiwan’s Olympic Committee said.

After consulting with the Sports Ministry, the Taiwanese government decided to make changes to its plan and cooperate with the policy in respect of the Olympic spirit, the committee said, without specifying the number of delegates expected to participate.

A senior Taiwan official claimed that Taiwan refused to send any delegation due to concerns that Beijing could “downgrade” Taiwan’s status by putting its athletes alongside those from the Chinese “special administrative region” of Hong Kong at the opening ceremony.

Taiwan will also not send any government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics due to the limited number of athletes competing, making it the latest country to withhold officials’ attendance at the Games.

Several Western countries, led by the United States, have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Games, which begin on Friday, in protest of the Chinese regime’s “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Wu said that China’s hosting of the Winter Olympics appears to be “giving the impression to the international community that nothing bad is happening” in Xinjiang.

“We should not forget about all these atrocities or genocide or crimes against humanity. We have been watching these issues very carefully. We will not forget about all this only because of the Winter Olympics,” Wu said in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday.

Wu said that Beijing shows no signs of dropping its “hostile acts” as the Chinese regime continues to invade its air defense identification zone, with the recent largest Chinese incursion involving 39 aircraft and a bomber.

“We don’t lock onto them because this will be considered a very hostile act, but we continue to monitor them in case they are coming too close, or they become more threatening, we would be able to take action at any time,” he said.

Taiwan competes at the Olympic Games under the name “Chinese Taipei” because Beijing regards democratically-ruled Taiwan as part of “One China” and as Chinese territory.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Aldgra Fredly is a freelance writer based in Malaysia, covering Asia Pacific news for The Epoch Times.