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  • By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jonathan Chin / Journalist, with an editor

The Foreign Office yesterday accused the world’s largest freediving organization of self-censorship, after it attempted to have Taiwanese divers compete under the name “Chinese Taipei”.

The International Association for the Development of Freediving (AIDA), which organizes freediving competitions around the world, held this year’s AIDA Caribbean Cup on the Honduran island of Roatan from May 15 to Tuesday.

Huang Ming-chun (黃明峻) placed second in the no-fins constant weight category with a national diving record at 63m, while Lien Lin-lan (連林嵐) set new national records in free immersion and in apnea at constant weight.

Photo: screenshot from Facebook

Huang wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that the two athletes discovered that their nationality had been changed from “Taiwan” to “Chinese Taipei” on the schedule published before the start of the event.

Huang and Lien immediately protested the move to AIDA, which only relented after both divers threatened to drop out of the competition, he wrote.

The ministry said in a statement yesterday that it “commends Huang and Lien for their tireless efforts to uphold the nation’s dignity and compete brilliantly as Taiwanese athletes.”

“AIDA’s decision to change the name of our country stems from political self-censorship. These actions have undermined the dignity of our country and the rights of our athletes, which the ministry condemns with just indignation,” he said.

Taiwan urges the organization to respect the opinions expressed by the overwhelming majority of its members, as well as the professionalism and integrity of sport, instead of bowing to undue political influence from China, he said. added.

“Beijing’s relentless campaign to denigrate Taiwanese athletes at international sporting events only serves to instill disgust among Taiwanese, further damages China’s image, and exposes the totalitarian nature of the Chinese Communist Party government. “, reads the press release.

Last year, the organization removed Taiwan’s flag from a live broadcast of the AIDA World Individual Deep Apnea Championship in Cyprus, which was attended by Taiwanese divers, sparking protests from Taipei.

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