Executive Yuan Spokesperson Ting Yi-ming and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu co-hosted a press conference Wednesday to unveil a new design for Taiwan's passport cover. The government redesigned the document to highlight the word "Taiwan" in accordance with a resolution passed by the Legislative Yuan so that Taiwanese citizens would not be mistaken for Chinese nationals while traveling abroad or during international exchanges, the spokesperson said. Passports with the new design are expected to be issued next January, while current passports will remain valid until expiry.
According to Minister Wu, the word "Taiwan" was added to the current passport design in 2003 to mark a clearer distinction between Taiwan and China. Taiwanese passport holders enjoy visa-free, landing visa or e-visa privileges in 170 countries and territories thanks to the meticulous anti-counterfeit design and high credibility of the document and the excellent reputation of the Taiwanese people. It is both the pride of the nation and the goal of the government for Taiwanese citizens to be able to travel freely and engage in exchanges with people in all corners of the world.
The new passport cover enlarges the English word "Taiwan" while retaining the basic elements and structure of the current design, including the nation's official name "Republic of China" in both Chinese and English, the national emblem, and the word "passport" in Chinese and English. Neither the cover's color nor Chinese font have been changed. The purpose of this redesign is primarily to improve the passport's recognizability.
Taiwan will send notification of the changes to the International Air Transport Association as well as governments, airports, seaports, customs agencies, immigration bureaus and airline companies across the globe. Copies of the new design will also be distributed to the appropriate agencies at home and abroad. In accordance with international practice, countries will be notified approximately two months prior to the issuance of the new passports, Minister Wu said.