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.