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U.S. Customs could confiscate 'Republic of Taiwan' passports

U.S. Customs could confiscate 'Republic of Taiwan' passports

Taipei, Sept. 25 (CNA) If Republic of China nationals enter the United States using passports that have the official name of the ROC covered, their passports could be confiscated by U.S. Customs, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Friday. Kung Chung-cheng (???), director-general of the ministry's Bureau of Consular Affairs, said the bureau has asked the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) -- which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic ties -- about the matter. The AIT replied that if foreign nationals enter the U.S. using passports that have the official name obscured with stickers with the aim of changing the features of the passport, U.S. Customs reserves the right to confiscate the passport or deny entry.
Kung's remarks came after Tsay Ting-kuei (???), a long-term Taiwan independence activist and chairman of the Liberal Taiwan Party (?????), mobilized nearly 30 people to attempt to storm the bureau office in downtown Taipei to "turn themselves in," but were deterred by police. They carried with them passports that had "Republic of Taiwan" stickers covering the official name of the ROC and shouted slogans such as "put stickers on your own passports yourselves!" They said that the ROC passport is easy to be confused with the People's Republic of China passport, and that the "Republic of Taiwan" stickers make a clear distinction between the two countries. Kung said the government respects freedom of political belief, but noted that the ROC passport is an official travel document issued by the government, and that no one should paste anything onto the cover or its inner pages, let alone pasting the Republic of Taiwan -- "a country that does not even exist" -- onto it. Kung said that the bureau has received complaints by some people that when they clear customs in other countries, they have found some Taiwanese using Republic of Taiwan stickers on their passports being detained for interrogation, which affects the speed of customs clearance for other passengers. They expressed the hope that the government will crack down on such illegal deeds to avoid Taiwanese people from being considered persona non grata. (By Wang Cheng-chung and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-04-23 20:26 GMT+08:00