Taiwan to protest against China designation on World Cup fan site

MOFA overwhelmed by similar cases

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World Cup fan site www.fan-id.ru added 'China' to Taiwan's name.

World Cup fan site www.fan-id.ru added 'China' to Taiwan's name. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said Thursday he would contact the relevant authorities to stop the use of “Taiwan (China)” as the country’s name on the webpage handling applications for fans heading to next month’s World Cup in Russia.

Everyone looking to attend soccer matches from June 14 to July 15 needs to apply for a document on the site which also allows visa-free entry to Russia and free public transport.

Since China has recently been bullying foreign companies, in particular airlines and hotel chains, to change references to Taiwan on their websites by adding the term “China” or stopping calling it a country, Wu said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was busy with handling several similar cases.

It might take some time, but the proper department would get in touch with the managers of the World Cup site to seek a resolution to the problem, the Central News Agency quoted the minister as saying.

At the Legislative Yuan, ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) pointed out that when asked to fill out their address on the website, soccer fans couldn’t even choose “Taiwan” as their country, which might result in them being unable to receive the ID documents.

This was discrimination pure and simple, and completely unfair, CNA quoted Chiu as saying.

Wu responded that each time such an instance was found, MOFA would tell its relevant overseas office to contact the website or the company and ask to correct the situation. However, since such incidents multiplied recently, especially in the case of airlines and even clothing retailers, MOFA staff were hard-pressed to handle all the cases, Wu told legislators.

Acting the way it did, China was pushing people further and further away, the minister concluded.