(CTN News) – Taiwanese visitors applying for an ID card that doubles as an entry visa no longer need to mention China.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry welcomed the move and thanked the organizers on Thursday.
The Hayya card is used to identify fans at FIFA World Cup events, and it also serves as the Qatar visa, but Taiwan’s government expressed concerns after discovering the online application system made no mention of Taiwan.
Later, Taiwan was listed as, “Taiwan, Province of China,” terminology that equally angers Taiwan’s government and many of its citizens.
The system has since listed the island simply as “Taiwan,” complete with the Taiwanese flag.
Qatar World Cup organizers remove China tag on Taiwanese fan IDs after backlash
This is a rare victory for Taiwan, whose government and many of its citizens reject China’s claims of sovereignty.
Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou called this a “positive development,” and commended the organizers for acting quickly.
Our thanks and appreciation for this goodwill are expressed,” Ou added.
There has been no comment from the World Cup organizers on the change.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin, said Wednesday that Taiwan is part of China when asked about Taiwan’s complaints to the Qatar World Cup organizers.
Taiwan competes as “Chinese Taipei” at most international sporting events, such as the Olympics, to avoid political problems. Taiwan has not qualified for the Qatar World Cup, but football is popular there.
Taiwan has never played at the FIFA World Cup finals and lost all eight matches it played last year in the second round of qualifying for the 2022 tournament.
Taiwan does not recognize Qatar’s government, which, like most countries, only recognizes China’s.
In order to assert its sovereignty claims, China has been pushing countries and foreign companies to refer to Taiwan as part of China on official documents and websites, often using the language “Taiwan, Province of China,” or “Taiwan, China.”