While the pandemic has forced our passports take a rest in the back of our drawers, Taiwan hasn’t pass up the opportunity to revamp theirs. The country’s Legislative Yuan passed a resolution on July 22, 2020 to remove mentions of “China” in its current passport cover. Taiwan’s design proposals will “improve the identification of ‘Taiwan’” – the goal was to further establish and solidify the island’s independence and national identity.
The New Power Party asked for submissions for the redesign and got hundreds of entries, but have narrowed down the designs to 127 finalists. These were uploaded in an online gallery where the public was encouraged to vote for their favorites.
The proposed passport covers bore all sorts of emblems and symbols relating to Taiwan, from landmarks like Taipei 101, land formations, food (bowls of rice and bubble tea!), animals, and flowers. And although it’s quite a feat to make sure your country is represented properly with just a few symbols, each artist’s unique creative touch made the entries look amazing.
Here are a few of our favorite Taiwan passport redesign entries
As of writing, two entries are leading with thousands of votes. The first one is the green-and-gold B33_Taiwan Endemic Species with 5,184 votes. It comprises seven species endemic to Taiwan: Taiwan Black Bear, Taiwan Stone Tiger, Taiwan Macaque, Taiwan Sika Deer, Taiwan Papilio, Taiwan Blue Magpie, and Emerald Tree Frog”.
L-R: B33_Taiwan Endemic Species, A10_520 TAIWAN, A21_Butterfly of Formosa
Another green-and-gold entry is the A10_520 TAIWAN with 3241 votes which also features a myriad of animals. There’s the national bird, the emperor pheasant, Taiwan’s black bear, and sika deer flanked by the country’s internationally renowned orchids. The third with 2,821 votes is the grey-and-white A21_Butterfly of Formosa. The design uses the two main islands of Taiwan as wings of a butterfly, a reference to how Taiwan was once called the “Butterfly Kingdom.”
L-R: A02_Emperor’s Pheasant Top Zhen Milk, A44_The Diverse Land, A68_Island Country Classic, B12_WE ARE TAIWAN
The A02_Emperor’s Pheasant Top Zhen Milk borders the line between classic and trendy. It features the country’s specialty drink – pearl milk tea. The third-most voted for is the A44_The Diverse Land where colorful dots form the shape of the island. A68_Island Country Classic’s bowl of braised rice reminds everyone of the gastronomic adventures to be had in Taiwan. B12_WE ARE TAIWAN has 1,389 votes and features the Sika deer, unique to Taiwan, in gradient rainbow tones.
Visit the online gallery to check out more designs.
The contest ends early September with a grand prize of NT$30,000 (roughly Php 49,685) for the Gold Award.
COVID-19 took part in the decision to rebrand
The passport redesign comes after discrimination overseas from people thinking Taiwan is under the rule of the communist party. The current passport’s huge “Republic of China” label hasn’t helped especially when everyone thinks the pandemic originated from China. Highlighting “Taiwan” on the passport would ensure that citizens can “uphold their dignity” and be provided “safe passage.”
Taiwan has actually been an exemplary country when it comes to battling COVID-19. To date, it has had a total of 488 coronavirus cases with 7 deaths and 462 recoveries. They managed to beat the coronavirus through strict quarantine and social distancing measures, almost free testing, and an awesome digital health care system.
Taiwan’s largest air carrier is also subject for rebranding
Aside from the passport redesign, the same resolution from the Legislative Yuan also called for the relabeling of China Airlines, Taiwan’s largest air carrier. Recently, cargo flights delivering COVID-19 medical supplies abroad were “mistakenly thought to be coming from mainland China.” Changing the air carrier’s name has been a hot topic since the 2000s, CNN reports, and it looks like the debate is about to end soon.
Which of these Taiwan passport redesigns are your fave? If we redesign the Philippine passport, what elements would you like to see included?