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Island's Passport Plans May Set Beijing on Edge

January 14, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

The Taiwanese government plans to add the word "Taiwan" to the cover of its passports, President Chen Shui-bian said. It is a move that China may view as a subtle step toward independence.

Chen said he wanted to make passports from Taiwan, the Republic of China, easier to distinguish from those issued by China, officially called the People's Republic of China.

"Foreigners are often confused," Chen said.

Beijing deeply mistrusts Chen, whom it suspects of harboring dreams of independence for Taiwan. China considers Taiwan a renegade province.

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