“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):

賽後,一名日本記者請謝淑薇以“第一個拿到大滿貫賽冠軍的‘台灣人’”身份,去談談“這對自己的‘國家’意味著什麼”。在聆聽兩人交談了一段後,彭帥舉手示意打斷,她說:“對不起,我還坐在這裡,我不能接受台灣是一個‘國家’的說法,網球只是體育運動,我們並不想被牽扯進政治。我們倆私下不會刻意去談這樣的話題,而且從小到大一直就覺得‘海峽組

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.

9 thoughts on ““Cross-straits” team wins Winbledon doubles title

  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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. @Ray

    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.

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