Chinese state-sponsored media artificially enhanced their country’s medal counts by adding Taiwan and Hong Kong medals to their total in an effort to surpass the United States. The Chinese Communist Party, known for propagandizing news in order to foster subservience, decided to buck the IOC’s official final tally and instead brazenly claim the world honor for themselves.
By adding Hong Kong and Taiwan’s medals, China’s published medal count jumped to 41 gold, 37 silver, and 27 bronze for an accumulative 106 medals. Comparatively, the US took home 39 gold medals, 41 silver medals, and 33 bronze for a total of 113 medals. While the US still claimed the most total medals, the false Chinese claim boosts them to the most gold medals.
Tricky international diplomacy and human rights violations are at the heart of this debate. Hong Kong is technically a special administrative region (SAR) of China, officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. It governs itself under the ‘one country, two systems’ philosophy.
Taiwan is officially known as the Republic of China and claims independence from the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
The International Olympic Committee recognizes Hong Kong and Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, and allows them to compete independently from China as National Olympic Committees (NOC). The communists, however, claim the independent nations as part of China.
When asked about the controversy, China Daily correspondent Chen Weihua said, “U.S. media always finds a way to put [the United States] on top,” implying that China’s propaganda was just following suit.
Ironically, half of this country’s media sympathizes with communist China, so perhaps they’re unaware of the disdain the Chinese have for them. Regardless, the communists want to be credited for something they didn’t actually accomplish, a lot like one political party here enjoys living in a fantasy land, as well. Maybe they’re perfect for each other, after all.