Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - Page 1 News List

World Cup Fan IDs to list Taiwan as part of China

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Fan ID of Taiwan’s ambassador to the Gazprom Football for Friendship World Championship in Moscow from today to Thursday next week ahead of the FIFA World Cup is pictured yesterday.

Photo: Dave Carroll, Taipei Times

Russia is to call Taiwan a part of China in identification documents for Taiwanese visiting during the FIFA World Cup, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday.

Russian authorities require spectators of the soccer tournament — scheduled to begin on Thursday next week — to apply for a “Fan ID” that is to be presented at customs and stadium checkpoints.

Taiwanese spectators would be forced to select “Taiwan (China)” when applying on the Fan ID registration Web site, West Asia and African Affairs Department Deputy Director-General Grace Lo (羅靜如) told a regular news conference at the ministry in Taipei.

Taipei’s requests for Russia to reconsider the policy have been rejected by Moscow, which cited its recognition of Beijing’s “one China” principle, as well as the technical difficulties involved in changing official security documents on short notice, she said.

The Representative Office in Taipei for the Moscow-Taipei Coordination Commission on Economic and Cultural Cooperation is continuing negotiations in the hopes that Russian officials would correct the information on the Fan ID registration Web site, she added.

Games are to take place in 11 Russian cities, including Moscow and the exclave of Kaliningrad, Lo said.

The Fan IDs would permit multiple border entries for 10 days before and after the World Cup, she said.

Although traveling to Kaliningrad from Russia by rail would require passing through Belarus, travelers do not need to obtain a visa from the Belarussian government, Lo said, adding that presenting a passport and Fan ID would be sufficient.

However, the documents do not allow travelers to visit Belarus, she said.

Asked whether the “Taiwan (China)” listing has resulted in any Taiwanese Fan IDs being sent to China, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said that it has not received any such complaint.

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