On Wednesday (14 September), Taipei accused China of pressuring organisers of a Malaysian trade event into barring a Taiwanese beauty queen from waving the island’s flag on stage.
According to Taiwan News, Karen Yu, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator and current director of Taoyuan City’s Department of Information Technology, attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Congress on Innovation and Technology (WCIT), which was held in Penang, Malaysia.
It is said that Miss Asia Global contestants from around the world were welcomed to take the stage as “Ambassadors of the WCIT” and greet the guests in their own language.
However, when Miss Taiwan Kao Man-jung was about to walk on the stage, she was held back by the organization’s handlers.
Yu said that she was initially confused about Kao’s mysterious exclusion from the activity but she later realised that the other representatives who go on stage waved their national flags. She believed that Kao had been blocked to prevent her from waving Taiwan’s flag out of deference to China.
Meanwhile, AFP reported that Taiwan’s foreign ministry had accused China of pressuring the Malaysian organisers to ban Miss Kao from holding their national flag on stage.
The Taiwan’s foreign ministry added such suppression “would only disgust Taiwanese people and the international community even more” and accused Beijing of deploying “vile actions”.
Following the incident, the organisers responded by saying they had no choice but to abide by the one-China policy set by the country in asking a Taiwanese beauty queen not to wave the island’s flag on stage.
According to FMT, organising chairman of the 2022 WCIT, Sean Seah said, “Malaysia strictly follows the one-China policy, and since this is a national event, we are obliged to follow and protect the country’s pledge in supporting the policy.”
“Running a global event like this, we are bound by guidelines. We are unable to take any position on this.”
The One China is related to an understanding struck by China with Malaysia in 1974, acknowledging that Taiwan is part of China.
In 2016, Malaysia again stood firm in support of the policy, pledging to support the peaceful development of cross-straits relations and China’s peaceful reunification.