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A Taiwanese beauty queen was seen crying after she was reportedly barred from waving the Taiwanese flag on stage at a Malaysian trade event. TBEN reported.
Taipei, in turn, accused China on Sept. 14 of pressuring the organizers of the technology conference held in Penang.
Beauty queen Kao Man-jung, also known as Maggie Kao, was photographed crying while other beauty pageant participants appeared on stage at the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Congress on Innovation and Technology (WCIT), TBEN reported.
Citing Taiwanese media, TBEN said that while other participants were seen waving their country’s flags, Kao was stopped just as she was about to take the stage.
Karen Yu, Director General of Taoyuan City’s Information Technology Department, attended the opening ceremony of the 2022 World Congress on Innovation and Technology (WCIT).
She posted a video of Kao wiping tears from her eyes shortly after she appeared to have been instructed to remain seated by the event attendants.
Yu wrote that Kao was stopped by the organizers at the very last minute, just before she was going to take the stage.
Kao was Miss Chinese World 2021 and Miss Taiwan (Miss Chinese Taipei) 2017/2018.
She is one of over 40 entrants to compete for the Miss Asia Global title in the final in Malaysia on September 18.
“China has pressured Malaysian organizers to ban Miss Kao from keeping our national flag on the podium,” Taiwan’s foreign ministry said.
The ministry added that it had instructed its representative office in Malaysia to lodge a formal complaint with the organizers.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry also accused Beijing of carrying out “disgusting actions”, adding that such repression would “only further disgust the Taiwanese people and the international community”.
According to Yu, attendees at the event could be heard cheering “Taiwan Go!” in English.
After the incident, Yu said she found Kao and offered comfort and encouragement.
The WCIT organizer also went on to apologize to Kao, Yu wrote.
Conference organizer responds
The organizers of a global tech event said they had no choice but to adhere to the country’s one-China policy by asking a Taiwanese beauty queen not to wave the island’s flag on stage. Free Malaysia today reported.
Sean Seah, the organizing chair of the World Congress on Innovation and Technology (WCIT) in 2022, said: “Malaysia strictly follows the One-China policy, and as this is a national event, we are committed to fulfilling the country’s pledge. support the policy.”
“When organizing a global event like this, we are bound by guidelines. We cannot take a position on this.”
Malaysia recognizes that Taiwan is part of China under the 1974 joint communiqué with China.
Top photo adapted via Karen Yu Facebook