Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry announced Monday that it will launch a redesigned passport early next year. Taiwan said in September that it was changing its passport design for “easier recognition and less confusion” with that of China.
People in Taiwan will be able to apply for passports with the new cover design, highlighting the country’s name, starting January 11, 2021, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The new edition of the passport — with a design emphasizing the word “Taiwan” on the cover — will launch on Jan. 11,” the ministry said in a statement to the daily Taiwan News. The news design was announced in September amid China’s growing aggressiveness. The new design is intended to make identifying the citizenship of Taiwan passport holders easier, according to an official statement issued by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the new passport the font size of the word “Taiwan” has been enlarged and positioned directly above the word “passport”, making the words “TAIWAN PASSPORT” further identifiable, the ministry added. The words “Republic of China” have been shrunk, making it hard to see in the first glimpse.
The statement said the ministry has “notified the relevant international parties about the new passport cover, including foreign governments, customs services at ports and airports, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and airline companies.” Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China (ROC), denies Beijing’s claims that it is a “breakaway province” and has insisted on being recognized as an independent state since 1949. According to a report by Focus Taiwan, the word “Taiwan”, positioned below the emblem on the new passport, has not only been made noticeably larger but also been repositioned. The ministry said its passport is the 33rd best worldwide, affording holders visa privileges in 170 countries and regions.