Taiwan has released a new passport and lawmakers and officials were among the people who lined up early to apply for the redesigned document, which prominently displays the word “Taiwan,” while minimizing the English name “Republic of China” (ROC).
Nearly 300 people applied for passports at the Bureau of Consular Affairs in Taipei, where Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu watched over the process.
Wu said he was happy to see the high level of enthusiasm for the passports, and reiterated that other nations, airlines, the International Air Transport Association and relevant agencies have been notified of the change to ensure a smooth transition.
There would be no problems using the passports, Wu said, inviting those whose passports are expiring soon, as well as anyone who is interested, to apply.
Before the pandemic, the Hualien office issued 70 to 80 passports per month, but in the past year had not reached even 10 most months, the ministry said.
The new design is simple and tasteful, especially the prominent “Taiwan”. The Legislative Yuan passed the proposal to emphasize “Taiwan” over “ROC” with 66 votes for and none against
Asked about the retention of the ROC name in Chinese characters, Chen said that no matter a person’s ideology, the name causes confusion internationally, sometimes even endangering Taiwanese.
The redesign is a manifestation of national sovereignty, identity and pride, and is worth feeling proud of, he added. However, Chen said he still longs for the day he can officially say: “This is Taiwan. We are Taiwanese.”
Beijing referring to the new passports, has said it does not matter what petty moves Taiwan made, it would not change the fact that Taiwan was an inseparable part of China.
China claims democratic Taiwan as its sovereign territory, and says that only it has the right to speak for the island internationally, a position it has pushed strongly during the pandemic, especially at the World Health Organization, WHO.