China’s microblogging platforms have been inundated with comments posted by users envious of the recent decision to include Taiwan in the US Visa Waiver Program.
One Chinese microblogger described it as “the farthest distance in the world” when comparing the difference between the dark red passport of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the dark green passport of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Many took to social networking sites in order to post messages and vent their frustration, with the sentence “The farthest distance in the world… ” often being used to express their views on the matter.
On Chinese netizen wrote: “The farthest distance in the world is … that I celebrate National Day on Oct. 1 [in PRC], and you celebrate National Day on Oct. 10 [in the ROC.] The farthest distance in the world is … I take my dark red-colored passport and go through many difficulties to obtain a [US] visa while you take your dark green-colored passport and visit more than 120 countries with ease.”
“The farthest distance in the world is … we speak the same language, yet we have different ways to express our feelings and emotions, different ways to show happiness and sadness and lead different lives,” the netizen added.
Another Chinese microblogger responded by saying: “Now I have begun to like the red-white-and-blue ROC flag,” while yet another wrote: “What! Taiwanese people can go to the US without a visa! Now I want to emigrate to Taiwan!”
“PRC passports are regarded as one of the world’s ‘garbage passports.’ It has visa-free entry to less than 20 countries and is only ranked in front of Pakistan and Bangladesh. More importantly, those countries which have granted visa-free status to Chinese passport holders are not suitable for business, tourism, or visiting friends, they are only suited for ‘adventure traveling’ — These countries are either at war, or have cholera,” one comment said.
China has 172 diplomatic alliances worldwide, but fewer than 20 countries have granted visa-free privileges to Chinese passport holders.