“When I’m meeting people, I’ll tell them I’m from Taiwan, because if you tell people you’re from Chinese Taipei, nobody knows where you’re from, you can’t find it on Google,” she said.

For Taiwan, every appearance on the global stage is fraught with politics — and even more so when that stage is China, reports AP.

The four Taiwanese athletes competing in Beijing at the Winter Olympics, which open Friday, can’t use Taiwan’s flag. They have long competed under a name — Chinese Taipei — that is rarely used and was forced on the team by a geopolitical divide that predates the Cold War.

Maggie Lee, a 19-year-old slalom skier, found herself giving people an impromptu lesson in the name as she traveled across Europe for training and competitions ahead of the Olympics.

“When I’m meeting people, I’ll tell them I’m from Taiwan, because if you tell people you’re from Chinese Taipei, nobody knows where you’re from, you can’t find it on Google,” she said.

Taiwan is an island of 24 million people off China’s east coast. It functions in many ways like a country with its own government and military. But China claims Taiwan as its territory, and only 14 countries recognize Taiwan as a nation. Most of the world, including the United States, have official ties with China instead.

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