Cricket World Cup and Taiwan geopolitics

[quote]Digger: World Cup out of tune with Taiwan sovereignty
Matt Scott
Friday March 9, 2007
The Guardian

World Cup out of tune with Taiwan sovereignty

Taiwan looks like becoming the unexpected loser at the Cricket World Cup over the next month or so. The island will not be sending a team to the tournament, but it has discovered that its future as a distinct entity from China is being jeopardised by the political impact of the tournament.

The largest bloc of the 24 nations that continue to recognise Taiwan - whose president, Chen Shui-bian, sparked a protest from the mainland when on Sunday he reasserted that his “is a sovereign, independent country” - is found in the West Indies and Gulf of Mexico. It includes host nations St Kitts & Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines - so the World Cup has become a geopolitical battleground.

Chinese construction and development grants have ensured the tournament will be staged successfully; without the assistance of hundreds of Chinese construction workers in Antigua, Grenada and Jamaica and China’s near-£70m investment in stadiums, the World Cup could not have been held.

Although the refurbishment of St Kitts & Nevis’s Warner Park Stadium into a 10,000-seat arena received key funding from Taiwan, the island’s influence in the region is slipping. Grenada had to hand back a £10m loan to a Taiwanese bank after receiving £20m in Chinese aid to build its stadium. Imagine the embarrassment, then, when a Grenadian band played the Taiwanese national anthem to China’s ambassador at the official handover of the project.

(the rest of the article is irrelevant)

Give that reporter a rose.