China and Taiwan vie for a piece of Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin warms up before the New York Knicks play the Los Angeles Lakers in New York last week.
February 16th, 2012
10:19 AM ET

China and Taiwan vie for a piece of Jeremy Lin

Editor's Note: The following text is from GlobalPost, which provides excellent coverage of world news – importantmoving and just odd.

By , GlobalPost

In China, nearly a million and a half microblogging messages posted recently mention Asian basketball sensation Jeremy Lin, The New York Times reported, marking a groundswell of interest in the latest sports phenomenon.

The 6-foot-3-inch point guard was mostly sidelined by his New York Knicks basketball team until a recent chance opportunity on courtshot him to stardom a week and a half ago. Lin has now scored a stunning 27 points and 11 assists over a six-game stretch, including athree-pointer in the final moments of a tight New York Knicks vs. Toronto Raptors game on Tuesday night that secured the Knicks another team win.

But basketball's latest wonderboy may now find himself caught in a competition of a different sort, as both China and Taiwan seek to claim the Asian-American as one of their own. Lin's parents were born in Taiwan, but Communist Party officials in China claim his origins lie in the eastern Chinese city of Jiaxing.

Lin’s closest relative, Yu Guohua, told The New York Times from China on Tuesday that Lin's father has always been "very supportive" of his son's althetic ambitions, adding that when Lin came to play at Jiaxing High School team last spring he was swarmed by fans.

The 23-year-old Knicks player is also Christian, a fact not lost among China's small, persecuted Christian population. The New York Times reports that some 1,500 messages mention Lin's faith out of the total 1.4 million Chinese microblogging messages posted about the new sports superstar, joining a chorus of admiration that has been collectively termed Linsanity.

Lin has so far made 136 more points in his first five starts, USA Today reported, outranking top stars like Michael Jordan and Shaquille O'Neal.

He's also reportedly outgrown his former couchsurfing ways. The New York Daily News reported that Lin, a Harvard graduate, is no longer kicking it at his brother's pad, moving instead to a New York sublet while he finds a new place better fitted for fame.

Meanwhile, the people – even in the Chinese Communist Party sense of the word – appear to be eagerly tracking his movements.

Post by:
Topics: China • Sports • Taiwan

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Amato

    "The New York Times reports that some 1,500 messages mention Lin's faith"
    Encourage words for Lin: God has used you as a witness to His Greatness reaching millions far and beyond. Good job!
    We will continue to pray for you for the evil one will try its best to tear you down.

    February 16, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
    • Lamb

      Let's separate church and sports. Don't drag God into your personal politics. Leave Him/Her alone.

      February 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Reply
      • Amato

        Give me a good reason why not? I mean a real good one.

        February 18, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
      • LWJR

        Christianity is one of the items at the root of Lin's popularity. Consider Lin's quality of play (winning), ethnicity, and humility. Now, you could say his humility is a byproduct of his Christianity and people find that refreshing in proSports, dominated by thugs, gangsters, and self absorbed egomaniac tetosterones (Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Muhammed Ali, Tiger Woods, Bret Favre). What if our politicians had some of what Jeremy Lin has? (Bill Clinton, Eliot Spitzer, Anthony Weiner, Jonathan Edwards, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Arnold Schwarzeneger, Dominic Straus Kahn, Rudy Gulliani, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson ... )

        February 25, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • ObjectiveView

      He has a stable piece of mind- may be his religion, may be family value.

      February 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Das Boot

      Amen.

      February 22, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • ABC

      I agree with ObjectiveView that Lin's humility may be a product of either his religion or his family or maybe even something else. In any case I find it amusing that the American press is making a big deal out of Lin's Christian religion. Many Chinese-Americans (if not most) are not Christian but are still rooting for Lin. Perhaps the emphasis on Lin's Christianity is a secret but undiscussed part of the Americanization process - non-Judeo-Christians can not be accepted as Americans.

      I also find it curious that the religion of Yao Ming, the other great ethnic Chinese NBA star , is never mentioned in the American press. Yao Ming is a Buddhist by the way. But then mentioning that in the American press might disappoint those who think only Judeo-Christians can be "True Americans".

      February 26, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  2. Little Lin

    "...but Communist Party officials in China claim his origins lie in the eastern Chinese city of Jiaxing...."

    If the author had wrote "the Chinese basketball fans claim ... blabla", I'd believe her, because I saw similar thing happening in Toronto - fans from the Taiwan island waving their ROC flags during the Knicks vs. Raptors game, so pathetic as if Jeremy Lin ever considered himself "Taiwaness", none the less understandable. But no, that's not what Ms Deasy wanted us to read, she had to emphasis that it was not some regular Chinese fans, but Communist Party officials who made that claim. May I ask, who?

    To people who can't understand why China being hostile towards western media, journalists like Kristin Deasy is your reason. They make up stuff about China based on their own motives. And they never give up any chance to paint a bad image of the country, even as small as this one. It just makes me sick.

    February 16, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
    • Deep Blue

      It was likely a Chinese news outlet, which is state controlled, but not an official statement from the government.

      February 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
    • Chocolate rain

      He's taiwanese dude, give it up.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:41 am | Reply
    • Lintrigue

      He is just your imagination, dude !

      February 17, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • Bill Rich

      Let us settle it once and for all: Jeremy is a US citizen, a Harvard grad, and a Californian.

      February 17, 2012 at 11:03 am | Reply
      • Lamb

        Right on the money!

        February 17, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
      • Jay Yoo

        Can't agree with you more.

        February 20, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • ZT

      The fact the PRC (and its apologists like you) are debating this just proves there IS a difference between Taiwan and China and who identifies with who.You've already lost.

      China is never getting Taiwan. If it gave up this asinine dispute, Taiwan could enjoy its full sovereignty and both America and China would save significant sums on defense.

      February 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  3. Alex Chang

    I agree; I am an ABC who's parents are from Taiwan and am highly critical of China's Communist Party, but when I read that statement about "Chinese officials" claiming his origins are from China, I couldn't help but feel how slanted this article is. I am disappointed.

    February 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • Chocolate rain

      It kind of puts a whole nother spin on China's rise. Taiwanese being an awesome basketball player.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:42 am | Reply
    • Maersk

      Kwok head, ABC stands for American Born Chinese and being Chinese means their origin is China.

      Taiwan is just a province of China, the United Nations recognize that and so does your uncle Sam. Next time before you open your kwok zucking mouth to BS, check out the facts between Taiwan and China first.

      February 18, 2012 at 6:56 am | Reply
      • Larry

        get your fact straight. What the Taiwanese ABC means is his ethnicity and not his nationality. Don't pretend you understand this complex. Being Chinese doesn't mean you're from the country of China, especially not the communist China of PRC. Those that identify themselves as Chinese race identifies with its culture and ethnicity. A lot of Taiwanese used to feel that TW belongs to the Chinese people until the CCP/PRC started casting false claims on TW without regard of our de facto ROC government on Taiwan.

        February 18, 2012 at 10:41 am |
      • photoguy

        What Larry said. One could culturally identify themselves as Chinese without having political allegiance to the People's Republic of China (PRC). Being Chinese goes way beyond nationality.

        February 19, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  4. Peter

    Lin is a Chinese!..Whether you like it or not! Period...

    Most of the population of Taiwan country were from China! Whether they accept it or not. That's the fact. Meaning they were all Chinese! Only the aborigine people in Taiwan are the real Taiwanese people not those from or descendant of people from China who escaped from civil war 60 years ago. Taiwan and China people are all Chinese!! Period!!!

    February 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Reply
    • Chocolate rain

      Oh, you are confusing nationality with race. He's Chinese race, Taiwanese origin. Yes Chiang Kai Shek was "Chinese", doesn't mean the mainland can claim him. Lol.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • Matt Paap

      That's like saying Americans are actually British – today!!! Are you really that ill-informed?

      Taiwan is a country that just hasn't been recognized yet. As an American, I'm proud that one of the most pro-American countries in the world has an athlete to cheer on and we can both love his story. I'm all Lin on Linsanity. Go Lin. Go Taiwan!

      February 17, 2012 at 4:41 am | Reply
      • Solomon

        Actually the government in Taiwan, which is ROC, was recognized worldwide and was in fact one of the original permanent member on the UN Security Council until it got replaced by PRC government.

        February 17, 2012 at 10:00 am |
      • Julius

        The official name for Taiwan is the Republic of China, therefore the citizens of Taiwan are Chinese. You used the wrong analogy with Britain and America.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:04 am |
  5. Decibel

    Taiwan's official name is REPUBLIC OF CHINA. If one calls himself Taiwanese, he is also saying he is Chinese. By the way, there is no country on earth called REPUBLIC OF TAIWAN.

    February 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • Chocolate rain

      Right but the point is that he is a product of Taiwan society, and not the mainland's government or its indentured society.

      February 17, 2012 at 1:45 am | Reply
      • Julius

        Lin is a product of American society, not Taiwan's. Get your facts right.

        February 23, 2012 at 4:05 am |
    • ObjectiveView

      R.O.C?

      Republic of Casino.

      February 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  6. Chocolate rain

    I don't see what's so hard for the Chinese mainlanders in denial to accept. Pretend it's the American civil war. Would the Yankees claim a confederate basketball player as one of their own? No, they would not. They would have to say that they had nothing to do with him and share only some genetic links.

    February 17, 2012 at 1:46 am | Reply
    • jim1980

      Chocolate rain: Stop with your nonsense. Lin is American. First and most. He was borned in US and grew up in US. Stop your nonsense about being product of Taiwan society. He is product of USA. I

      It is clearly that you are not living US before. In US, Chinese-American indicated that American of Chinese ethnic background. Chinese stand for ethnic, not nationality.

      Lin said that he is proud of being Chinese and he is proud of his parents came from Taiwan. Go search for video on the web.

      February 17, 2012 at 8:49 am | Reply
  7. Lintrigue

    I hope 6 months from now, you people still remember me.
    ~~~ Jeremy

    February 17, 2012 at 3:58 am | Reply
  8. Bill Rich

    What's interesting is in the Xinhua piece about Lin's interview, all reference to his faith disappeared. If China wants to claim Lin, claim it all, faith and his aspiration to become a pastor included.

    February 17, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
  9. Lintrigue

    I see myself fading away...

    February 18, 2012 at 1:44 am | Reply
  10. ObjectiveView

    Good photo shown on this story.

    February 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  11. kc

    SCREW China and their false claims on things that were never theirs in the first place. Jeremy Lin can be claimed by only two countries- the USA and Taiwan. NOT CHINA. He is American–that is a given. He is also Taiwanese–Just ask his family. His father gave a briefing to his older brother (Lin's uncle) that the NY Times will be coming to Taiwan to interview him and their mother (Lin's paternal grandmother) on Jeremy Lin's bsckground and basketball and how the family reacts. More importantly, Lin's father told Jeremy's uncle that when they ask about our nationality and background–MAKE SURE YOU TELL THEM WE ARE TAIWANESE!!!! End of Discussion!

    February 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
    • jim1980

      KC, Lin is American, not Taiwanese. He visited Taiwan twice only in his life time. He has no common with Taiwan. His background is that of Asian American whether it is racism in the US or playing basketball in US. Stop claim him or wave the flag.

      February 21, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
  12. kc

    Jeremy Lin also attended an event sponsored by Taiwanese American.org in San Francisco last year.

    February 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
  13. Max

    You guys are ALL wrong: Lin is American.

    Is Kobe Bryant Italian or African?
    No, he's american.

    Sure he is of chinese/taiwanese descant (sorry bad english, am french).
    But he is american, has always lived in america, has an american accent, story,
    everything he lived everyone he interacted with were al on american soil.
    He's amecian, period.
    Yes, be proud of his heritage, but make no mistake: he's 100% american,
    just like Kobe Bryant or the citizens that forms this melting pot tht is America,
    ESPECIALLY Lin who was born here and ALL he knows his america.

    Above all, he's a human. Whether some chinese traits or european ones,
    we're all EXACTLY the same! (except some skin color, or some ethnicity
    has some body parts that are usually smaller or whatever..).
    So having some chinese heritage doesnt make him any more
    or less like the chinese or americans. He s human and we re all exactly
    the same! We all have the same friggin brain.

    The one thing that makes him closer/more related to a group and less to other groups,
    is where he's from, the unique environment, people and things he did and people
    he learned from, the spirit of the people and place he's from – which is America.

    So he's really "one of us" for EVERYONE on this planet.
    And i would leave it at that – but if you want to debate to which group
    he's more related to, if you really wanna go there, it's to america. He's American.

    February 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  14. NY_Knicks_fan

    Jeremy Lin's nationality is USA, his parents' origin is Taiwan, and his ethnicity is Chinese.
    All Chinese around the world, no matter what nationality, should be proud of him. Period.

    February 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  15. chinese from brunei (but not born in China or Taiwan)

    well said NY_Knicks_fan. He is as Chinese as Michael Jordan, Kobe or LeBron James are 'black'. That is why the Chinese populace around the world are proud of him.

    February 21, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
    • Klaudia

      miya より:Hi RyuVery good to hear from you. How's life in Boston?Actually there are lot's of Condos there which were converted in to ruxualy cond's from hotels before they were started their construction.I don't know the exact reson why, but anyway I saw some of them such us Jean Nouvel's and HdeM's around Soho. They are now under consrtuction. You will see Nouvel's has almost done the exterior, but the latter has just exposed its concrete structure so far.Of course their rents are surprising. While the new upper class are living in Brooklyn such as along L-line rising up the average incomes and rents of the areas, the luxury Manhattan areas such as around Soho are boosting up its prestigious states by rebuilding brand new buildings.What's also amazing is Prada in Soho designed by OMA has been rearranged the interior. Its first floor was originally designed as only a kind of show window'/ void space, and the basement was for retail for men/women. But now the first floor is just a men's floor and the basement floor is for women. The charming cabinet designed by SANAA seemed in no use. It seems the fundamental idea well-organized Programing space' has totally gone. It is sadly just a commercial space like others swallowed into Sohoism'.

      April 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  16. Old Bear

    Mr. Lin is an educated, athletic AMERICAN who happens to have Chinese ancestors. give me a break.

    February 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
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