TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwan’s representative in Sydney on Friday threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Australian Baseball League (ABL) game of the Sydney Blue Sox against the Brisbane Bandits in a rare example of sports diplomacy.
Taiwan and Australia do not maintain official diplomatic relations, as Canberra has recognized China, which tries as much as possible to prevent Taiwan from expanding its international contacts.
In addition to Taiwanese representative Constance Wang (王雪虹) serving as the guest of honor, four Taiwanese players were on the field at the event, the Central News Agency reported.
Lin Chih-sheng (林智勝) was credited with homering to lead Brisbane to an 8-5 victory, its 17th of the season.
The action was also part of a Taiwan Day at the stadium, with Taiwanese delicacies such as bubble tea and paper lanterns on sale and many Taiwanese fans on hand to show their support for the exchange.
Baseball had become a common language for Taiwanese and Australians, Wang said, reminding the audience that a total of seven Taiwanese players had already joined ABL teams.