Taiwan’s foreign ministry criticized organizers of the World Cup in Qatar in response to Taiwanese fans being listed as Chinese in the identification system.
On Tuesday, Taiwanese fans entering their nationalities for the Hayya identification card that would serve as their entry visa for the World Cup in Qatar found that there was no listing for Taiwan available in the drop-down menu.
A senior Qatari official had stated that same day that Taiwanese fans were likely to be listed as being from China in the identification system, an issue that inevitably sparked outrage in Taiwan, which considers itself an independent nation from China.
The following day, “Taiwan, Province of China” was added to the online system, which did little to appease sides. Although the listing included the Taiwanese flag, offending China, the Taiwanese government clearly conveyed its dissatisfaction with the efforts to compromise.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou stated that it was “unacceptable to belittle our country” and demanded that the organizers make an “immediate correction of their ways.”
“The Foreign Ministry again calls on the organisers of the World Cup to not allow improper political factors to interfere with simple sports activities and tarnish sporting venues that value fair competition and emphasise the spirit of the athletes,” Ou added.
In order to avoid political concerns that may arise, Taiwan is usually referred to as “Chinese Taipei” at most international sporting events, including the Olympics.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded to the World Cup incident by reiterating that “Taiwan is part of China,” referring to the mainland’s “one China principle.”
Tensions have risen between the two governments amid the Ukraine-Russia War, in which rumors that Taiwan would be the next to be invaded has caused both sides to remain on high alert.
China had also stated last week that it would “not hesitate to start a war” if Taiwan were to split and declare independence.