Taiwan Stickers help distinguish nationalities amidst China travel bans

Restaurant in central Taiwan distributes free stickers to help citizens travel more smoothly

Stickers designed to help foreigners distinguish Taiwanese from Chinese. (Facebook photo)

Stickers designed to help foreigners distinguish Taiwanese from Chinese. (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In light of the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic, a fear of the Chinese people has emerged in countries around the world, leading many of them to issue travel restrictions on tourists from China.

Different stores and restaurants in major countries, such as the U.S., South Korea, and Japan, have decided to suspend services to Chinese nationals. A Chinese woman was reported to be kicked out of a Japanese ramen restaurant after the waitress realized she was from China.

The travel bans against China are also creating troubles for Taiwanese citizens, many of whom are facing discrimination abroad as of late. Taiwanese are often being mistaken for Chinese by foreign immigration authorities due to similar appearances and the Republic of "China" title on their passports.

Earlier this month, two Taiwanese exchange students in Russia told ETtoday that they were attacked by local residents on public transportation after being mistaken for Chinese. Popular Taiwanese model Gin Oy (歐陽靖) said that many of her friends in Japan were denied entry to restaurants because they were speaking Chinese.

To solve the situation, Taiwanese travel agencies and local businesses, including the Gate88 restaurant in Taichung, have designed stickers printed with "Taiwan" and "I am Taiwanese" to help citizens travel more smoothly. The owner of Gate88 Jiang Ming-de (江銘德), who is also running a travel agency, said that he has received complaints from many customers about the "Taiwanese-Chinese" confusion.

Jiang said that he will be distributing 2000 free stickers at his restaurant and hopes his design will be helpful for Taiwanese as well as foreigners. He pointed out that the sticker design is based on Taiwan's national flag, so most Chinese nationals would be hesitant to wear it, reported Liberty Times.

Free Taiwan stickers distributed by Jiang Ming-de. (Gate88 Restaurant photo)