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Taiwan Boycott Beijing Olympics, As Tensions Increase

Taiwan will not participate in the opening or closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games, over fears that China will use the event to claim ownership of the island on a global platform.

Taiwan is a vital cog in the global technology machine thanks to TSMC, the world’s most biggest semiconductor company.

Taiwan produces a staggering 90 per cent of the world’s advanced chips, with the likes of Apple relying upon TSMC for components. The recent semiconductor shortage saw TSMC’s market capitalisation shoot to A$858 billion, making it the most valuable company in Asia. It overtook China’s Tencent last week, for market value.

Taiwan’s boycott of the Games came after a representative of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said “the team from Taipei, China, is already registered to participate.”

Taiwan competes officially as ‘Chinese Taipei’ in the Games, a nod that represents the island’s cultural lineage but not who holds jurisdiction over them. This was agreed upon in an 1989 agreement between Chian, Taiwan and the IOC, but the reversing of the name by the Chinese official is “implying that Taiwan is a part of the Chinese state”, as Nikkei Asia explains.

“China intentionally called the Taiwanese team by the incorrect name of ‘Taipei, China,’ which will only further heighten the resentment of the Taiwanese people,” the Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said.

“We need to prepare for unforeseen circumstances,” it added.

Taiwan claimed over the weekend that China sent 39 military aircraft into the Taiwan Strait, an incursion that has fuelled the political debate further.

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