To hold a referendum in Taiwan, organizers must collect over 280,000 signatures, equivalent to about 1.5% of the electorate, and 25% of voters must vote in favor for it to pass. Organizers (link in Chinese) of the Olympic referendum said they had received (link in Chinese) more than 520,000 signatures, far exceeding expectations. Referendums are legally binding in Taiwan, but the government has been ambiguous about how it will respond should the measure pass.

What’s not ambiguous is China’s response. Beijing has, predictably, issued stern warnings against the vote, calling it another attempt by pro-independence Taiwanese to split the island from China.

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