Ed Wong of the NY Times offers a fairly good discussion of the Taiwan-China Olympic relationship in the NY Times that highlights many of the stupidities that result from China’s politicization of the Olympics. To wit:

Sports announcers in China often use the name Zhongguo Taipei when talking about Taiwanese athletes, and signs at sports events on the mainland display that name.

“I’ve been to competitions in China where a few referees say, ‘You’re Zhongguo Taipei,’ ” said Mr. Chang, the table tennis player. “We say, ‘No, we’re Zhonghua Taipei. They say, ‘Why?’ Sometimes the mainland athletes also joke about that.”

Tsai Chen-wei, president of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee, said he would complain to the International Olympic Committee if mainland officials insisted on calling the Taiwanese delegation by the wrong name. “If they want to change our name, it’s annoying,” said Mr. Tsai, a former rugby player with a gruff voice. “I might end up putting myself in danger. I’m the president, so I have to defend this name.”

Telephone and written inquiries on the subject of Taiwan made to the Beijing organizing committee for the Summer Games went unanswered.

Mr. Tsai said people might also see political significance in the repositioning of the Taiwanese delegation in the opening ceremony.

In past Games, when delegations marched into the Olympic stadium in alphabetical order by their English names, the Taiwanese athletes entered with the T countries. In Beijing, delegations will march in according to their Chinese names. That eliminates any suggestion of the name of Taiwan, Mr. Tsai said, and puts the delegation of Chinese Taipei next to that of the Central African Republic. “We prefer T,” he said.

Wong’s discussion of the Torch relay:

As early as last year, political tensions between China and Taiwan made their mark on the coming Games. The Taiwanese government led by Chen Shui-bian, then the president, who tried to move Taiwan closer to formal independence, decided in April 2007 not to allow the torch to pass through the island because the flame would then go on to Hong Kong, signifying that Taiwan was part of China.

That canceled an agreement Mr. Tsai had signed in Beijing in December 2006 allowing the torch to come through Taiwan. Mr. Tsai said in the interview that he was disappointed with the government’s decision.

In fact the Torch was never more than a political ploy of China’s, as Max Hirsch reported a while back.

Printouts of the Web site provided by Taiwan Thinktank yesterday, dated Thursday 8:51pm — a half hour after Beijing announced, amid fireworks and celebrations, that Taipei would be included in the relay — showed the committee’s official list of locales to host the relay. Taiwan was marked by its absence.

Another reason Taipei rejected Beijing on the Torch, in addition to its attempt to annex the island to China, was that Beijing insisted at the last minute that the Torch route be clear of protesters and of references to the ROC. Even Ma Ying-jeou complained that he could not accept that the ROC flag could not be displayed on the Torch route.

The Wong piece article is long and contains lots of interesting comments and anecdotes. Have at it!