Home > Opinion, politics > “Cross-straits” team wins Winbledon doubles title

“Cross-straits” team wins Winbledon doubles title

It has been two weeks since “cross-straits” team Peng Shuai (彭帥) (mainland) and Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) (Taipei) won the women’s title at Winbledon. Moments after their win, a Japanese reporter has already created a lasting stir within China. The controversy went as follows, according to Phoenix News Media Ltd (in Chinese):


My translation below:

After the game, a Japanese reporter asked Hieh Su-wei, “Being the first to win a grand-slam as a ‘Taiwanese,’ can you talk about what it means for your ‘country.’ After a short exchange between the two, Peng Shui interrupted. She said, “Excuse me. I am still sitting here. I cannot accept Taiwan is a ‘country’ type of talk. Tennis is sport. We don’t want to bring politics into this. We don’t want to discuss this type of issue. Furthermore, since when we were young, we have always thought of ourselves as a ‘cross-straits’ team.

Now, some may say, Peng Shuai was the first one to bring up politics. That is categorically wrong. The Japanese government formally recognizes a one-China policy. When the reporter and the Japanese media refers to Taiwan as a “country,” they are sowing the seeds within their public to propagandize Taiwan politically away from the mainland. If China becomes very weak, the Japanese government could always change their one-China policy. There is much more legitimacy for the world to cast Okinawa as a separate country. The Chinese media to date has been infinitely kind.

  1. Zack
    July 22nd, 2013 at 03:58 | #1

    man, the japs sure are cruising for a bruising these days.
    You do raise a massive point about the West’s dual strategy of ‘officially’ recognising the One China Policy but unoffirically promoting a divided China for the sake of some future potential to split apart China

  2. July 22nd, 2013 at 08:21 | #2

    Taiwan is getting closer to the mainland, that’s the reality. This story doesn’t fit the narrative of Taiwan as an independent country so it is rarely reported. Big S also married across the strait.

    They can’t play as a team if the they are not the same country. Can Canada and US formed such a team at Wimbleton?

    Anyway, congrats to them.

    PS: I also learned of their victory on Phoenix TV. IMO, Phoenix has the best reporting on greater China.

  3. July 22nd, 2013 at 09:28 | #3

    Big congrats to Peng Shuai (彭帥) (mainland) and Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇) (Taipei). And a big credos to Hsieh (for letting Peng speak).

    I look forward to the day when a Hsieh can answer, “very proud to represent China … as well as the people of Taiwan.” Those two are consistent – and is the identity many of the young generation in Taiwan. I can just feel the tide in attitude changing already.

  4. N.M.Cheung
    July 22nd, 2013 at 16:42 | #4

    There were rumors that Hsieh might accept citizenship of China as a condition to compete in China’s regional/national game as representing some sponsorship of a liquor company in mainland. The speculation was Hsieh’s father was using the ploy to gain more sponsorship from companies in Taiwan. Hsieh did gain some sponsorships but the amount was much less than what her father wanted.

  5. Charles Liu
    July 23rd, 2013 at 09:41 | #5

    Leave it to NYT to politicize this against China:


    “Shame” has since been removed from the article, but you can still see it in the original link text.

  6. July 23rd, 2013 at 10:39 | #6

    I think the NYT article is a great exhibit of how much certain segment of the American public longs for discord between the Mainland and Taiwan. The fact that the real movement of people between both sides are so easy nowadays – that Hsieh could simply switch over due to sports sponsorship speaks much more about how much of the walls between the two sides have disappeared over the years.

    And the NYT is not happy about that.

  7. July 23rd, 2013 at 12:48 | #7

    Actually, there is no need for Hsieh to do anything. The PRC government regards all residents on mainland, Taiwan, Macau, HK as its own citizen. By contrast, the so-called ROC only recognized those on Taiwan numbering about 26 million to be citizens.

    As such, the government that styled itself as the ROC no longer exist. It is by name only. In Li Ao harsh word, it is a zombie and undead playing to be a living.

    Yes, the NYT author is definitely not happy.

  8. Black Pheonix
    July 23rd, 2013 at 13:24 | #8


    Yes, Hsieh doesn’t need to do any thing. She could easily play as a “Chinese” player. PRC wouldn’t force her to change any kind of legal status to play.

    Similarly, tons of Taiwanese business people live and work in mainland without any kind of legal hassles.

    *On the other hand, NYT and others may politicize Hsieh’s status enough that ROC might demand her to do some ridiculous public stunt/gesture to prove her “Taiwan” status.

  9. bufallobiff
    October 3rd, 2015 at 05:56 | #9

    You’d be hard pressed to convince the citizenry of Taiwan that they are Chinese. Ethnically perhaps but they make it a point to identify as Taiwanese……China has not been so benevolent to Taiwan and there are reasons that they feel this way. Not only historically but culturally as well…..


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