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Envoy to Spain explains why 'Chinese Taipei' athletes hail from Taiwan

Only athletes from Taiwan, Russia, and refugee team unable to hear own national anthem at 2020 Olympics

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Taiwanese badminton players Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin with their gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Taiwanese badminton players Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin with their gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s representative in Spain, Jose Maria Liu (劉德立), has written a letter to the Spanish media to explain that athletes winning medals at the Tokyo Olympics under the name of “Chinese Taipei” actually represented Taiwan, reports said Friday (Aug. 13).

Due to pressure from China, Taiwan is not allowed to use its own name, fly its own flag, or play its national anthem during medal ceremonies at the Olympics. The island nation’s stellar performance in Tokyo, where it won an unprecedented 12 medals, has attracted attention from global media.

Writing to Spanish newspaper ABC, Liu said that no matter how hard one looks, a country called “Chinese Taipei” is nowhere to be found on a world map, CNA reported. He pointed out that the nation's medal winners have been popular both at home and internationally.

However, Liu added that the international community needs to be reminded the athletes come from Taiwan, which has been forced to accept the name “Chinese Taipei” under an agreement made four decades ago. During the Tokyo games, Spanish news website El Confidencial also mentioned how only athletes from Taiwan, Russia, and the refugee team were unable to hear their own national anthems.