World Baseball Classic: the many names of Taiwan

As the World Baseball Classic was set to begin, it occurred to me that we would have an interesting situation with the first round Pool B games happening in Taiwan and the Taiwan team going by the name of Chinese Taipei. How would this be covered in the media?

I found different ways of tackling the problem in different articles. Some articles separated Taiwan and Chinese Taipei. “Chinese Taipei opens World Baseball Classic with 4-1 victory over Australia” made it clear that Chinese Taipei was playing at home in Taiwan during the first round. But the team was called Taipei further in the article. Taiwan was only used to describe the location of the game. “Cuba, Japan, Chinese Taipei and the Kingdom of the Netherlands advance to the second round of the World Baseball Classic” from the MLB site separates Chinese Taipei and Taiwan. If someone did not know the history of the name “Chinese Taipei,” the person might think the names were referring to two different places.

Other articles only used the name Taiwan. “Taiwan, Netherlands advance in World Baseball Classic” from Reuters decides to just go with Taiwan without any mention of Chinese Taipei. “World Baseball Classic Preview: Group B” decided to introduce the team as Taiwan and even used the Taiwan flag.

“Korea wins game, but Chinese Taipei advances” and “Second round set in Tokyo with four talented clubs” from the WBC site names the team as Chinese Taipei but then uses Taiwanese for the adjective. I wouldn’t be sure how to turn Chinese Taipei into an adjective either.

中華台北 means Chinese Taipei. 中華 are the same words in 中華民國, which means the Republic of China. 中華隊 is used to refer to the Chinese Taipei team. However, differences between television stations means differences in name usage. I found news broadcasts from Taiwan of reactions and recaps of Taiwan’s last WBC game against Cuba.

The first video is from 中華電視公司, commonly known as 華視, which is one of the three oldest free television stations in Taiwan.

The station uses 中華隊 throughout the report.

The second video is from 民間全民電視公司, also known as 民視. The station is owned by the Democratic Progressive Party.

The only utterance of 中華隊 is from the crowds watching the game. 台灣 is used, including 台灣隊.


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