Mainland clarifies name issue of Taiwan Olympic team

2008-07-23 15:04:05 GMT       2008-07-23 23:04:05 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING - The Chinese mainland on Wednesday called on both sides across the Taiwan Straits to dissolve misunderstandings on the name of the island's Olympic team, saying the difference in translation is a history-made problem.

It was not conducive to the trust-building between the two sides for some media and people in Taiwan to accuse the mainland media of violating relevant pacts and deliberately changing the Chinese-language name of the island's team from "Zhonghua Taipei" to "Zhongguo Taipei", a spokesman with the Taiwan Affairs Office under the State Council, or cabinet, said.

According to the spokesman, in 1979, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) passed a resolution in Nagoya, Japan, resuming the rights of the Chinese Olympic Committee in the IOC, and meanwhile renaming the Taipei-based Olympic Committee as "Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee".

Since then, the mainland side had translated "Chinese Taipei" as "Zhongguo Taipei", he said.

In 1981, Taiwan's Olympic organization confirmed acceptance of the Nagoya resolution, but translated "Chinese Taipei" into "Zhonghua Taipei".

"We can see the different versions of translation across the Straits were historically made so," he said.

But the two Olympic Committees signed a pact in Hong Kong in 1989 to clearly define the use of the version of "Zhonghua Taipei".

According to the pact, when Taiwan's sports teams and organizations compete or attend conferences or activities on the mainland, the organizer must call them "Zhonghua Taipei" in printed documents, pamphlets, mails, nameplates and public address.

The spokesman said the mainland side had been observing the Hong Kong pact and using "Zhonghua Taipei" in stipulated areas ever since, but on other occasions, the version of "Zhongguo Taipei" was still in use following past practice.

The accusation of mainland media's violation had confused the scope where the Hong Kong pact defined to use "Zhonghua Taipei" and did not conform to facts, he said.

He said that compatriots across the Straits belonged to one family, and Beijing's hosting of the Games fulfilled a century's aspiration of the Chinese offspring.

He urged the compatriots to create harmonious atmosphere to greet the Olympics.

The cross-Straits relations currently maintained a momentum of improvement and development, which was hard won and should be cherished, he said.

He called on both sides to observe the Hong Kong pact while greeting the Olympics, take initiative to display, reciprocally, goodwill and properly solve relevant problems.

"We heartily welcome Taiwan athletes and people from different circles [in Taiwan] to compete in and attend the Olympic Games, and sincerely wish the athletes good achievements," he said.

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