Taiwanese students holding banners protesting the use of the name “Chinese Taipei” for the Taiwanese team were kicked out of Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium yesterday, August 31, after a confrontation with an angry spectator and officials.
During the confrontation, a banner was torn by an official, leading the protesters to raise a lawsuit against the Chinese Taipei Baseball Association later the same day.
The protesters held up banners reading “Taiwan is Taiwan” in Chinese, and “Taiwan is not Chinese Taipei” in English, at a game between Taiwan and Japan. As in other international sports competitions, the Taiwanese team had to play under the name “Chinese Taipei”.
A video recording of the conflict showed the young protesters being confronted by the angry middle-aged spectator, as officials also rushed in to prevent them displaying the banner. A man sitting behind them enjoying a boxed meal, stood up and shouted at the officials in support of the students. At one point, the man says to an official, “We are in Taiwan, aren’t we?” The official responds to the man and tells him to quieten down.
A middle-aged official is afterwards seen tearing the banner as he leads the young protesters out of their seats and into the aisle. A police officer from the Criminal Investigation Division is seen accompanying the group. A spectator shouts at an official and tells him “We are in Taiwan and you say we can’t say that? You are not the police.”
The students were then taken to a police station and interrogated by police. The Chinese Taipei Baseball Association claimed the students had broken the terms of agreement, stipulated when purchasing a ticket, that signs making religious or political statements are not allowed in the stadium.
The students contacted their lawyer, who agreed to take them to the district prosecutors office to raise a lawsuit against the CTBA.
The group unfurled their banners in front of the prosecutors office as the lawyer pressed a button requesting service.
In July this year, an LLB match between Taiwan and China was delayed after protesters unfurled a banner carrying the same message: “Taiwan is not Chinese Taipei.”