Hong Kong government blasts local weightlifting body for implying city and Taiwan were countries

The Hong Kong government has called for an investigation into the local weightlifting and powerlifting association after accusing its chairwoman of referring to the city and Taiwan as countries during an event it hosted.

In a speech delivered in English at Monday’s opening ceremony of the Asian Equipped Powerlifting Championship and the Asian University Cup, Josephine Ip Wing-yuk mentioned that “13 countries” were taking part.

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China. The Beijing government sees Taiwan as part of China to be reunited by force if necessary. Most countries, including the United States, do not recognise Taiwan as an independent state, but Washington is opposed to any attempt to take the self-governed island by force.

On Friday evening, the Hong Kong government released a statement condemning Ip’s choice of words.

Josephine Ip referred to “13 countries” in her speech at the opening of the event. Photo: YouTube/Hong Kong, China Weightlifting and Powerlifting Association

“The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government finds it absolutely unacceptable that the chairperson of the Hong Kong, China Weightlifting and Powerlifting Association, Dr Ip Wing-yuk, mentioned ‘13 countries participated in’ the Asian Equipped Powerlifting Championship and Asian University Cup 2024 in her opening speech which was delivered on May 6,” a government spokesman said.

“The statement is grossly inconsistent with the fact that delegations from Hong Kong, China and Chinese Taipei participated as regional teams. It gives rise to suspected violation of the one-China principle.”

The statement called on the Sports Federation & Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (SF&OC) to conduct an investigation into the association and submit an improvement plan.

It said the SF&OC had urged the association to submit a report to it by Wednesday.

The Post has contacted Ip and the weightlifting and powerlifting association for comment.

There were 199 powerlifters from 13 delegations taking part in the event, including 20 Taiwanese and 22 from Hong Kong.

This was not the first time the association had referred to Hong Kong as a country.

In March, Ip was forced to apologise after she called Hong Kong a “relatively small country” during her opening speech at the Hong Kong Weightlifting Invitation competition. She described it as “a slip of the tongue”.



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