Switzerland began replacing "Taiwan" with "Chinese Taipei" in the nationality columns of residence permits issued to Republic of China citizens in August, a move believed to be done under pressure from China. \nAt least three cantons -- Bern, Geneva and Zurich -- began changing the nationality designation of Taiwanese when issuing or renewing their residence permits about two months ago. \nThe cantons made the move under the instruction of the federal government, officials said. \nThe Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) launched new passports with "Taiwan" on the cover on Sept. 1, saying the measure would help distinguish Taiwan from the People's Republic of China (PRC). \nSwitzerland's policy change coming as Taiwan issued the new passports was not accidental, the state-run Central News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday based on an interview with a Swiss official. \n"The move was taken under China's pressure," a Swiss official said in response to questions from the its Department of European Affairs. \nRex Wang (王世榕), Taiwan's de facto ambassador to Switzerland, based in Bern, said yesterday he discussed the matter with a high-ranking Swiss official in charge of Asia-Pacific affairs two days ago. \nDeclining to name his contact, Wang said the official, contradicting the reply the ministry received, insisted China played no part in the decision to change the nationality designation on residence permits. \nThe official who talked to Wang said, "Switzerland is a sovereign country. The new policy about Taiwanese residence permits is an internal affair and has nothing to do with China. It has nothing to do with Taiwan's new version passports, either." \nAccording to the official, the policy was designed to distinguish Taiwan from China. To achieve that purpose, the adoption of the term "Republic of China" was not a good choice. \n"As Taiwan is not a country name, we have decided to use `Chinese Taipei' -- a name accepted on many international occasions -- on the residence permits," the official said. \nThe official was also quoted as saying the Swiss government did not realize why a small internal matter would cause such an uproar from Taiwan. \nMOFA has expressed concerns about the policy and demanded Switzerland change the nationality designation.
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IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under