5 countries erroneously ban Taiwanese travelers due to WHO 'one China' policy

5 countries lump Taiwan in with China entry limits as Wuhan coronavirus spreads

People shopping in Taipei. 

People shopping in Taipei.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Due to the World Health Organization's (WHO) mislabeling of Taiwan as being a part of China and complacency by the International Air Transportation Association (IATA), five countries have barred entry to Taiwanese travelers.

On Feb. 14, the Philippines lifted a ban on travel to and from Taiwan it had imposed due to concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus while keeping it in place for China, Hong Kong, and Macau. However, according to an announcement by IATA released on Monday (Feb. 17), five countries continue to include Taiwan in their China travel bans.

The countries include Mauritius, Bangladesh, Mongolia, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu. Mauritius is the most recent of the five to put in place a ban on Taiwanese travelers.

On Monday (Feb. 17) Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said Taiwan's representative office in South Africa had received reports that Mauritius had imposed a ban on anyone who resides in or has been to "Chinese Taipei" (Taiwan) in the past 14 days.

Ou said that MOFA expressed its great dissatisfaction with Mauritius' policy, which was clearly influenced by the WHO, because it erroneously labels Taiwan as part of China's epidemic area, reported Liberty Times. Ou said that the ministry is continuing to negotiate with Mauritius to lift this ban and convince the IATA to correct its inaccurate information.

As for the other four countries with restrictions on Taiwanese travelers, Bangladesh is no longer allowing Taiwanese nationals to obtain a visa on arrival, and it requires all passengers arriving from Taiwan to provide a medical certificate proving they are free of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Mongolia states that passengers who live in or have been to Taiwan since Jan. 1, 2020, "are not allowed to transit or enter Mongolia."

Two of Taiwan's former diplomatic allies are now following a strict "one China" policy by including Taiwan in their travel restrictions. The Solomon Islands is banning anyone who has transited through or been in "China" (including Taiwan) within the past 14 days, while Vanuatu requires passengers arriving from "Chinese Taipei" (Taiwan) to have a medical certificate "proving they are free from Novel Coronavirus (2019-NCov)."