World Bank requires Taiwan staff to hold China passport

Bank expresses regret, says it revised requirement

World Bank headquarters.

World Bank headquarters. (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has asked the World Bank to drop its requirement that Taiwanese staff hold a Chinese passport, reports said Saturday (Dec. 14).

According to news website Axios, human resources at the global institution have required Taiwanese staff or job seekers to present identification documents from China, forcing them out of a job if they do not renounce their Taiwanese citizenship.

MOFA heard about the policy and immediately mobilized to demand a revision to the rule, the CNA reported.

However, when Axios contacted the World Bank, the latter expressed regret, adding that management had taken steps to “revise the guidance.” The policy toward Taiwanese staff was a key subject of internal online questions at the bank ahead of a “town hall” meeting with the institution’s leadership.

Comments included, “Why is Management allowing a member state to trample on the rights and dignity of staff?" and "How can the Bank have any moral and ethical standing and on what basis can the Bank defend such an abhorrent treatment of its own staff?" according to Axios.

Similar demands for Chinese passports were also posted on the bank’s internal website last March, but these were later blamed on a technical error and removed, Axios reported.