1995 -- AIT defends the use of "Taiwan" on travel document

I was looking through an old (October, 1995) China News (now Taiwan News) lying around the house and, given the debate over whether or not to put ‘Taiwan’ on passports, was struck by one article: “AIT defends use of ‘Taiwan’ on US-issued visas.”

AIT called the printing of the word ‘Taiwan’ in the nationality column of the visas it issues a purely technical issue. The article goes on:

"Earlier yesterday, DPP vice presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (now mayor of Kaohsiung) claimed that the use of the word ‘Taiwan’ on the visas implied that AIT recognized the applicants’ nationality as ‘Taiwanese.’

"Hsieh exhibited his own visa, recently issue by AIT, as an example. He said the US was changing the name of the ‘Republic of China.’

This was at the same time when it appeared that a summit between Lee Teng-hui and Jiang Zemin, to discuss cross-Strait issues, might take place.

Without reading the article, I would have to guess that the issue arised out of the use of Taiwan as a birthplace in US passports. The technicality that they were refering to was probably about the fact that Taiwan is used by the INS. The US State department followed the “one China” policy in public but their department structure do not follow that policy. Since the INS used Taiwan in their paperwork, the State Department ended up following it on the visa process. Part of the arguement used to get the US passports to state the birthplace of Taiwan was to use the INS policy against the State Dept. The State Dept. did not want to implement the changes and used some legal loophole to deny it. Then Congress used the State Dept. appropriations bill to close the loophole and force the State Dept. to allow the US passport to be issued with Taiwan as a birthplace. This had very little to do with possible positive interactions between Taiwan and China during that time. Some of the people who pushed for the change in the US passports are the same people pushing for the change in the ROC passports.

Mark

[quote=“HakkaSonic”]I was looking through an old (October, 1995) China News (now Taiwan News) lying around the house and, given the debate over whether or not to put ‘Taiwan’ on passports, was struck by one article: “AIT defends use of ‘Taiwan’ on US-issued visas.”

AIT called the printing of the word ‘Taiwan’ in the nationality column of the visas it issues a purely technical issue. The article goes on:

"Earlier yesterday, DPP vice presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (now mayor of Kaohsiung (Gaoxiong)) claimed that the use of the word ‘Taiwan’ on the visas implied that AIT recognized the applicants’ nationality as ‘Taiwanese.’

"Hsieh exhibited his own visa, recently issue by AIT, as an example. He said the US was changing the name of the ‘Republic of China.’

This was at the same time when it appeared that a summit between Lee Teng-hui and Jiang Zemin, to discuss cross-Strait issues, might take place.[/quote]