DHARAMSALA, 17 June: Taiwan has scored a rare diplomatic victory against China after the island saw its request to remove a reference to China for Taiwanese fans at the 2022 FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar.
The Hindu reported that Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry has thanked the World Cup organisers in Qatar after it removed a reference to China for Taiwanese visitors applying for an identification card that doubles as an entry visa on Thursday.
According to the report, Taiwan’s government expressed concern after discovering the online application, the Hayya card which is mandatory for all the World Cup ticket holders to apply for as it is used to identify fans and also serve as their Qatar visa made no mention of the island.
Following the complaint by the Taiwanese government to FIFA, the island, which was initially listed as, ‘Taiwan, Province of China’ was simply as “Taiwan”, complete with the Taiwanese flag.
Taiwan’s government had expressed concern to FIFA after discovering that the Hayya card made no mention of the island. While it was initially listed as, ‘Taiwan, Province of China,’ it was later changed to “Taiwan”, complete with the Taiwanese flag on Wednesday after Taiwan’s complaint.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou has thanked the organiser of the world cup for their prompt action.
“We express our thanks and affirmation for this goodwill,” Ou was quoted as saying in the report.
Following Taiwan’s diplomatic victory which has frowned and maintained that “Taiwan is part of China”.
Though football is popular in Taiwan, the Taiwanese National team failed to qualify for the Qatar world cup which is scheduled to be held from 21 November to 18 December 2022. The self-ruled island usually competes at most international sporting events such as the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei” to avoid political problems.
Beijing claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its own and views it as a wayward province to be reunified with China by force if necessary.
Taiwan has been self-governed since 1949 when Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang troops fled to the island after losing China’s civil war to Mao’s Communist Party.