Taiwan Continues to Battle Against China Over the Usage of Names

In this May 21, 2018, photo, a computer screens display the booking website of British Airways showing "Taiwan-China" in Beijing, China. Global airlines are obeying Beijing's demands to refer to Taiwan explicitly as a part of China, despite the White House's call this month to stand firm against such "Orwellian nonsense." (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

By Anne Huang

This subject was recently brought to attention with much controversy after 36 airline companies in the states officially changed the term they used to address Taiwan. Many changed from just calling “Taiwan” to “China-Taiwan”.

This act obviously have a much more significant political outcome and message than any actual real physical effect (unless you include the set of chain effects that this action might set off).

The reason something as simple as “renaming an island” received such awareness is because it gives us a glimpse of the true power and influence China has over the global community. Because china plays such a salient role in the global economy, as well as being arguably one of the most prestigious country in the world, it’s understandable to see why China have such an influence over international relations as well as politics. Nobody in their right mind would risk ticking off one of the most intensive superpower in the world for an island.

This fact naturally and understandably infuriates the Taiwanese population. Even after almost 100 years after their government got kicked out of China, the Taiwanese people and government still possess the forlorn and impossible hope that for some mysterious reason, they can still somehow take over China.

Li Ching-yu, center, wife of Taiwanese pro-democracy activist Li Ming-che detained in China, stands after she was denied boarding the flight to Beijing at the airport counter at Taoyuan international airport in Taoyuan, Taiwan, Monday, April 10, 2017. Li Ching-yu told reporters that airline staff told her Beijing authorities had canceled her Chinese-issued travel permit when she tried to check in on Monday. Li had hoped to fly to China to demand information about her husband who has not been heard from since March 19. The sign in Chinese says “Release/free Li Ming-che.” (AP Photo/Johnson Lai)

Many Taiwan have begun public protest to show their disdain over China’s “bullying”. In the streets of Brussel, many Taiwanese took to the streets to try and call out for support for Taiwan. The protests covered the 2-kilometers route for about 2 hours. Taiwan by protesting in other international locations is obviously doing this to raise international support for Taiwan.

The protesters (mainly Taiwanese) claimed that China has been ramping up Taiwan for the past few months such as forcing them to ago into Tokyo Olympics as Chinese Taipei again, and isolating them from international relations. They wish to “say no” and rebel against, according to them, China’s “bullying”.

Around 250 people attended, including many politicians such as European Parliament members Bernd Kolmel, Cristian Dan Predd, Dieter Lebrecht Koch and Ivo Vajgl.

Photo courtesy of CNA

Taiwan has been suffering one rejection after the other the past few months, with them also being denied a request to change their current “Chinese Taipei” to “Team Taiwan” at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games. The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) were the ones to announce this new on May 19, stating that the IOC had “not approve name change”. However, despite the rejection, many Taiwanese non-government groups and organizations still did not give up on this campaign, which they are still promoting the “2020 Tokyo Olympics Taiwan Renaming Referendum”.

The interesting part about all these incidents is that none of them are caused by any rue significant actions. They are heavily surrounding the usage of names. Something as insignificant of that should never be made as big as this, but it’s not about the names: it’s about the honor. The politics involved in the names is another from China demonstrating its power and influence over global matter, and Taiwan is trying to save face from this humiliating by doing everything they can to try and overturn this into their favour.