Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Chinese trolls infuriated by loss to Taiwan in Olympic badminton gold medal match

Taiwan has taken the opportunity of winning Olympic badminton gold to subtly assert their nationhood, as Chinese nationalists vent their fury online.

Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin beat Liu Yuchen and Li Junhui of China in the men's doubles badminton gold medal match on Saturday.

It was Chinese Taipei's first ever gold medal in badminton, one of the sports China is most dominant in.

China's state media reportedly cut off the broadcasting of the medal ceremony to avoid Taiwan's "National Flag Anthem", which has the same melody as the Taiwanese national anthem but different lyrics.

China claims the self-ruled island of Taiwan as their territory, so since the 1980s Taiwan's athletes have competed under the name of "Chinese Taipei" and the "Plum Blossom Banner" — a white flag that features the Olympic rings. 

In recent years, China has been ratcheting up the pressure for Taiwan to re-join the motherland or face "consequences."

The reaction to Saturday's gold medal badminton match on the Chinese social media platform Weibo was hostile and aggressive.

Some Chinese netizens criticized their own athletes, while others took shots at Taiwan.