Paper cutouts of the old (L) and new Taiwanese passports are displayed in Taipei, Taiwan, on September 2, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)
Taiwan says it plans to redesign its passports to put greater emphasis on the islandís name, amid an increasingly hostile posturing toward mainland China.
Taiwanís Foreign Minister Joseph Wu announced the decision on Wednesday
He claimed the new passports were needed to avert the problem of their holdersí being identified as Chinese citizens, particularly amid stepped-up entry checks many nations have instituted since the COVID-19 outbreak began.
This is while Taiwanese people are considered Chinese nationals under a globally-recognized policy known as "One China."
Taiwanís secessionist government has complained that Taiwanese people have faced difficulties while entering other countries since Taiwanese passports have the words "Republic of China" - a title that is used by the islandís secessionist government itself but that can be supposedly confused with Chinaís title - written in large English font at the top and "Taiwan" printed at the bottom.
"Since the beginning of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak this year, our people have kept hoping that we can give more prominence to Taiwanís visibility, avoiding people mistakenly thinking they are from China," Wu said, also using a phrase to refer to the COVID-19 disease that is deemed disparaging to China.
Taiwanís new passports, expected to come into circulation in January next year, enlarge the word "Taiwan" while eliminating the words "Republic of China" in English, though the name in Chinese characters will remain.
Moreover, the government in Taipei is considering a name change or a full redesign for the islandís largest carrier, China Airlines, again to avert identification with China.
China considers the self-ruled island as a breakaway province that should be reunited with the mainland under the internationally-recognized "One China" policy. Nearly all countries of the world, including the United States, recognize that sovereignty.
Under that policy, countries are not allowed to have formal relations with Taiwan.
China also insists that it has the right to speak for the island internationally, a position Beijing has strongly invoked during the virus outbreak, especially at the World Health Organization (WHO).
Taipei complains that this has confused countries and led them to impose the same restrictions on Taiwanese travelers as on the Chinese.
SOURCE: PRESS TV