Chinese state media claimed that Olympic medals won by Taiwan and Hong Kong belong to China in an attempt to boost Beijing’s final medal count over the United States.
China Central Television, a Chinese state-controlled media outlet, posted a picture on Instagram Monday of a final medal count in which China is ahead of the United States.
Although China only tallied 38 gold medals—one fewer than the United States—the graphic includes Olympic medals won by Taiwan and Hong Kong, which competed independently at the Tokyo Olympics, as part of China’s final count. The false tally, which is an apparent attempt to boost Beijing’s gold medal count above the United States, also circulated on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform.
The falsification of Beijing’s Olympic results comes after Chinese propagandists attempted to downplay the United States’ achievements in the Tokyo Olympics, which concluded Sunday. Chen Weihua, China Daily‘s European Union correspondent, tweeted out a photo last week of a tally showing the United States ahead in the overall medal count—but behind China in gold medals—and said “U.S. media always finds a way to put the United States on top.”
The International Olympic Committee requires Taiwan, an independent country that the Chinese Communist Party claims is part of China, to compete in the Olympics as “Chinese Taipei.” Announcers also referred to the country as “Chinese Taipei” throughout the Olympics to appease Beijing.
Chinese nationalists console themselves by including Taiwan’s wins in fictitious medal table.
Still stinging from the U.S. gold medal supremacy at the Tokyo Olympics, bitter Chinese Netizens have created an augmented version of the “China Medal Table” by including Taiwan and Hong Kong medals to boost it to the top spot.
On Saturday evening (Aug. 7), China was ahead of the U.S. in gold medals on the last day of competition, with a count of 38 to 36. However, many American media outlets, such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, listed the U.S. at the top of their Olympic rankings because it had the most medals overall.
China’s state-run CCTV was dissatisfied with this methodology and criticized American media that day for “ranking the U.S. first based on American standards.” However, on Sunday (Aug. 8) China failed to win any more gold’s, falling short in rhythmic gymnastics and women’s middleweight boxing, while the U.S. dominated Japan in women’s basketball and took the gold for the first time in women’s volleyball and track cycling.
By the closing ceremonies, the Chinese state-operated broadcaster no longer had a leg to stand on because the U.S. had not only reached the top of the gold medal tally, with 39 gold’s to China’s 38, but also beat its communist counterpart by every other measure, including 41 silvers to 32, 33 bronzes to 18, and 113 total medals to 88.
In response, some Chinese Netizens created their own fantasy medal table that lumped in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau to give the enlarged “China Medal Table” 42 gold’s, 37 silvers, and 27 bronzes for a total count of 110 and posted it to the Weibo social media platform.
In the post, they wrote, “Congratulations to the Chinese delegation for ranking first in gold medals and the total number of points.” Even with the combined version, the new “China Medal Table” still fell short in every category.
Team USA Overtakes China In Gold Medals At Tokyo Olympics
Chinese Netizens try to pad their Olympic stats with Taiwan’s medals