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“Republic of Taiwan" stickers have raised controversy again. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has amended relevant rules banning people from modifying the cover of their passports. People holding cover-altered passport to go through custom might violate the law in the future.

UDN reports, a series of self-made “Republic of Taiwan" stickers were released on the Internet this July. The stickers cover the words “Republic of China" and also have images of the Formosan Black Bear and Yushan printed on them. Although the Minister of Foreign Affairs said the stickers were illegal back then, people have continued to share their experiences of using the “Republic of Taiwan" passports to pass customs in support of the stickers.

On November 16, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released drafts of the amendment regarding passports. The additional rule number three says, “One should not make any alteration to your passport to make it look different from the original one."

People believe the ministry is reinforcing the law to target the “Republic of Taiwan" stickers.

CNA reports, Gong Zhong-cheng, chief of the Bureau of Consular Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in an interview that both the ruling and opposition parties decided on the current design of the passport cover. The ministry respects everyone’s belief, but authorities are afraid that the stickers will confuse immigration officials and the authenticity of the passports will be doubted.

A post on the Facebook page of the stickers says they “contempt such law amendment," and also calls on current legislators to review whether the amendment should be stopped or modified.

It also says the Taiwanese government has displayed remarkably high efficiency simply to make the stickers illegal.

The designer of the stickers said on Facebook that the stickers are not meant to change the cover of the passports; rather, they are “an artistic action opposing the Utopian ‘Republic of China’ system." He accused the amendments drafted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be unconstitutional.

The designer has also launched a “global connection of all ‘Republic of Taiwan’ passport holders" event.

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Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang