After many years of controversy, Taiwan on Monday finally started issuing passports with the word "Taiwan" on the cover. The government's primary goal behind this move is to clearly tell the international community that the passport-holder comes from a high-income, democratic nation -- not from the People's Republic of China, for which Taiwan has long been mistaken. The old version of the passport only has "Republic of China" on the cover -- a name too close to "People's Republic of China." It is no wonder that immigration officers in many countries could not figure out the true origin of the passport-holders. This has resulted in countless problems for Taiwanese people traveling abroad.
\nHowever, this wise and reasonable act has long been blindly boycotted by politicians bent on the Great China ideology. It has also come under fire from the pro-unification media, which keep on saying that adding "Taiwan" to passports will raise Beijing's ire and incur retaliatory action. As a result, the process has been jeopardized and frustrated on many occasions. Only now, under the DPP administration, have we completed a process that helps the international community distinguish Taiwanese passports from Chinese ones.
\nOf course, passports are in the first place an indicator of sovereignty. The government has stated that the ROC's effective jurisdiction covers only Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, which are represented by "Taiwan." This is in accordance with history as well as the reality. There is nothing sneaky about it. Being residents of Taiwan, we must understand that the KMT's long-running claim that the ROC's territory includes Taiwan is a blatant lie. The ROC Constitution promulgated by Chiang Kai-shek (
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