The Legislative Yuan yesterday resolved to update the nation’s passport to highlight the Chinese and English for “Taiwan,” and to devise “feasible” ways to rename state-run China Airlines Ltd (CAL, 中華航空) to differentiate it from its Chinese counterpart, Air China.
Motions tendered by Taiwan Statebuilding Party Legislator Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus on the passport cover, and by the DPP and New Power Party caucuses on the name of the airline were voted on yesterday.
The proposals submitted by the DPP caucus won both votes.
Photo: Wu Su-wei, Taipei Times
The first resolution mandates that the English and Chinese for “Taiwan” should be highlighted on the passport to prevent Taiwanese from being confused with Chinese, to uphold their dignity and ensure their safe passage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which originated in China.
The second resolution says that the international community has often confused China Airlines with Air China and to avoid that, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications should devise ways to set China Airlines planes apart from those of Air China.
China Airlines in the short term should add Taiwanese motifs to the fuselages of its aircraft so that the nation’s air rights would not have to be renegotiated, it says.
The ministry in the long term should devise feasible ways to change the English-language name of China Airlines, it says.
The motions were drafted after reports of Asians being discriminated against overseas due to the COVID-19 pandemic and batches of masks wrapped in banners reading “China Airlines” misleading recipients into thinking that they were donated by China.
The ministry said that it has instructed the China Aviation Development Foundation (中華航空事業發展基金會) — China Airlines’ largest shareholder — to form a consultancy team to discuss the legislature’s resolution.
China Airlines said that it had no comment on the resolution.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said in a statement that the foreign ministry would collect feedback on how the nation’s passport should be redesigned.
Additional reporting by Shelley Shan and Lin Chia-nan
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