The travesty of Chinese Taipei

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Flag of Chinese Taipei

Over the last week chances are good you’ve seen at least some of the Olympic Games.  I was watching a few days ago when I saw a flag for “Chinese Taipei” on the screen.  Then I heard an announcer on the CBC refer to this nation that I had not heard of.  There are more than two hundred nations participating in these games; I can’t claim to have heard of all of them.

So, what’s the deal with Chinese Taipei?  Well, it turns out, Chinese Taipei is really the nation we know of as Taiwan.  Riddle solved?  Not quite… it turns out Taiwan isn’t really a nation either.  You’re probably thinking ‘WHAT!?’  Some of the best stuff is made in Taiwan. The place we know of as Taiwan actually calls itself the Republic of China (ROC).  How can there be two Chinas?  The China that’s playing host to the 2008 Olympic Games officially refers to itself as the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

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