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Taiwan students forced to cover flags at Abu Dhabi solar car race

2015/01/19 20:38:20

The Apollo VI team. CNA file photo

Kaohsiung, Jan. 19 (CNA) A team of Taiwanese students have been forced to blot out images of the Republic of China's (Taiwan's) national flag at a solar car race in Abu Dhabi, their school confirmed Monday.

News surfaced Sunday that the team of students from Taiwan's National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences was forced by the organizer of the event to cover or blot out images of Taiwan's national flags on their solar car and uniforms.

Angry students from the Apollo VI team reportedly drew images of the flag on their uniforms with a black pen, after the flag images on their uniforms were covered with cloth.

The university confirmed Monday that the incident occurred and said the students were furious with the organizer. But because the race is still underway, the university said it had not heard further from the students.

The school's solar car team has competed around the world for more than a decade and had never before been asked to blot out Taiwan's national flag, school officials said.

The Abu Dhabi Solar Challenge is a cross-country road competition across Abu Dhabi, held from Jan. 16 to 19. It includes driving in the city and desert and covers a total distance of around 1,200 kilometers.

A total of 16 teams are participating in the competition.

Taiwan at times cannot display its national flag at international events because of pressure put on organizers by China, though it is unclear whether China directly intervened in this case.

(By Cheng Chi-feng and Christie Chen)