Chinese Taipei have been told by the IOC that they must take part in the Opening Ceremony at Beijing 2022, despite fears it will be used for propaganda by China ©Getty Images

The Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC) has revealed it has been told by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that it must attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics here.

The Taiwanese Government had previously announced that athletes would not be participating in the Ceremonies, citing travel issues and strict COVID-19 countermeasures in place at Beijing 2022.

Due to increasing tension between China and Taiwan, there were also concerns organisers could reduce the nation’s status at the Opening Ceremony, due to be held on Friday (February 4).

The CTOC has now said it had received "several notices" from the IOC "requiring all delegations to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics to cooperate in sending personnel to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies"".

It added that it would "adjust" the plan and "cooperate with the policy to send staff to attend the Opening and Closing Ceremonies", although it is not known how many of its 15-member delegation, including four athletes would attend the showpiece event.

Taiwanese officials are expected to boycott the two ceremonies at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium and only focus on supporting the country’s athletes.

The move is set to be made over concerns that the presence of a Taiwanese delegation would permit Beijing to make diplomatic slights against Taiwan, including pro-unification messages.

China claims Taiwan is a part of its territory with Chinese President Xi Jinping insisting last September that "reunification" with the neighbouring island "must be fulfilled".

An activist holds a banner to protest against the Winter Olympics during a demonstration outside the Bank of China in Taipei last week ©Getty Images
An activist holds a banner to protest against the Winter Olympics during a demonstration outside the Bank of China in Taipei last week ©Getty Images

Taiwan is self-ruled and repeatedly vows to defend its democracy amid an increasing threat of invasion by China.

The Ministry of Defence for Taiwan claimed 39 warplanes from China entered the island’s air defence zone on January 23.

A group of protesters gathered outside the Bank of China in Taipei today to demonstrate against the staging of the Winter Olympics in Beijing.
The dispute over Taiwan's sovereignty is why athletes from the country compete as Chinese Taipei in the Olympics, after a compromise on the name was reached in 1984.

Competing as the Republic of China (Taiwan), the country made its debut in the Winter Olympics at Sapporo in 1972.

They have competed in every Winter Games since, with the exception of Lake Placid 1980, but have never won a medal.

At Pyeongchang 2018, Chinese Taipei sent four athletes to compete in two sports, with luger Lien Te-an carrying the flag at the Opening Ceremony.

At Beijing 2022, the country is expected to be represented by three women and one man.

Speaking last week, Taiwan’s Sports Administration said COVID-19 restrictions and delayed flights meant "not all could arrive in Beijing" in time for the Opening Ceremony.

It also said the team "will not wait around" once they had competed only to be told that they will be required to attend the Closing Ceremony, set to be held on February 20.