Taiwan's new passport to banish confusion with China

Taiwan is rolling out a newly redesigned passport on Monday (January 11), aiming to avoid confusion with China amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as Beijing steps up its efforts to assert sovereignty.

The new passport gives greater prominence to the island's day-to-day name.

Existing ones have "Republic of China", its formal name, written in large English font at the top, with "Taiwan" printed at the bottom.

The new passport enlarges the word "Taiwan" in English and removes "Republic of China" - though that name remains in Chinese and in small English font around the national emblem.

During the early stages of the global health crisis, Taiwan says some of its citizens were confused with Chinese nationals.

And on occasion were unfairly subject to the same entry bans when case numbers for the virus were well under control in Taiwan.

Chen Li-ting is one of the first applicants for the new passport:

"I thought it would happen sooner or later. That is, sooner or later the word 'Taiwan' would appear more and more. And in the future, 'Republic of China' will disappear."

China has said it does not matter what quote "petty moves" Taiwan made, it would not change the fact that Taiwan was an inseparable part of China.

China claims democratic Taiwan as its sovereign territory, and says only it has the right to speak for the island internationally.