Olympic Games Onomastic Controversy

6085628924_7af6f1a088_mAmidst all the controversies of the Rio Olympics, there was an onomastic one: It seems that the Taiwanese are more than piqued that their athletes were asked to compete under the name “Chinese Taipei.” According to a CNN interview given by Coen Blaauw, executive director of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs, the name ‘Chinese Taipei’ is “humiliating for the 23 million people of the democratic country of Taiwan”. There are also fears among supporters of Taiwanese independence that the Olympic use of the moniker would help the controversial placename stick. Although Taiwanese activist and Sunflower Movement supporter Huang Kuo-chang stressed that his compatriots “definitely want a peaceful relationship with China,” that does not mean, Kuo-Chang explained, that they should not be forced to sacrifice their own way of life or onomastic identity.