TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) has stated he supports the efforts of Taiwanese athletes preparing for the Beijing Winter Olympics, but he also is paying attention to the growing international campaign to boycott the games, reports said Wednesday (April 7).
With outrage over China’s treatment of its Uyghur minority and democracy activists in Hong Kong mounting, the call to avoid the February 2022 games has been gaining ground, though no government has officially announced a boycott.
Responding to questions from lawmakers Wednesday, Pan said the Tokyo Olympics is the top priority in sports now, and he will fully support the efforts of Taiwanese athletes to qualify for the winter games, CNA reported.
While assistance to athletes will not stop, the ministry will also pay attention to international developments, according to Pan. He added that it is government policy to help Taiwanese champions gain the opportunity to shine in international competitions.
Legislators named coronavirus prevention, the actions of other countries, and respect for Taiwan’s sovereignty as justifications for a boycott. The minister responded that if the country is belittled or if its sovereignty is disrespected in any way, there would be an immediate protest.
Due to opposition from China, Taiwan has been forced to use the name “Chinese Taipei” to compete in international sporting events including the Olympics.