On Wednesday, the Taiwanese foreign ministry released images of the new identification document that features "Taiwan" in large lettering on its cover and minimizes the English wording "Republic of China."
Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said that the shift was aimed to prevent confusion between travelers from Taiwan and those from China — citing complaints of travel issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since the beginning of the Wuhan pneumonia outbreak this year our people have kept hoping that we can give more prominence to Taiwan’s visibility, avoiding people mistakenly thinking they are from China,” he said.
Since the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Taiwan has transitioned to full democracy. However, the region's official name, constitution and flag remain tethered to its historical roots.
In this Sep. 2, 2020, photo released by the Executive Yuan, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, center, and Executive Yuan spokesperson Evian Ting, left, and Director of Consular Affairs Bureau Phoebe Yeh attends a news conference to reveal the new Taiwan passport in Taipei, Taiwan. (Executive Yuan via AP)
Additionally, China continues to claim Taiwan as its own territory, and Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters Tuesday that "the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China will never change" regardless of what “tricks" are played by the pro-independence Democratic Progressive leadership.
The Chinese government was also not pleased when “Taiwan” was added to the cover of the Taiwanese passport more than a decade ago. They do not recognize the passports and require Taiwanese citizens to use a Chinese-issued document instead.
The new passports are set to take effect in January.
The redesign was ordered in a July resolution, which also called for an update to the logo of Taiwan's government-owned China Airlines.