Taipei: A new dispute between Taiwan and
China erupted over the weekend after a mainland official
demanded the island`s delegation to the Tokyo International
Film Festival be renamed.
Jiang Ping, the head of the Chinese contingent at the
festival said yesterday that the Taiwan delegation should be
renamed the "China Taiwan delegation", shortly before the
His Taiwanese counterpart flatly rejected the call, and
today a government spokesman waded into the row.
"The Chinese delegation should not use politics to
interfere in the movie exchanges," Taiwan government spokesman
Johnny Chiang told the state Central News Agency.
"The move has infringed the rights of Taiwan people
participating in the the film festival."
In the wake of the row, stars from both delegations
missed the walk along the "green carpet" -- changed from the
traditional red to highlight environmental concerns -- which
kicked off the festival.
The name issue has long been a sensitive topic for the
island and its giant neighbour, which split in 1949 at the end
of a civil war.
In a compromise, Taiwan has been allowed to participate
in some international organisations, such as Olympics, under
the name of "Chinese Taipei".
Ties between Taipei and Beijing have improved markedly
since Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Kuomintang party came
to power in 2008 on platform of ramping up trade links and
allowing in more Chinese tourists.
But Beijing still regards the island as part of its
territory awaiting to be reunified, by force if necessary,
though Taiwan has ruled itself for more than 60 years.