Secretary Janet Napolitano granted visa-waiver status to Taiwan. (Photo/Liu Ping)
After Taiwan gained visa-waiver status from the United States on Oct. 2, many internet users from mainland China expressed their admiration for the Taiwanese government by comparing the usefulness of the green passport used by Taiwan to the red passport used by China, reports by our sister newspaper Want Daily.
Taiwan was declared the seventh nation in the Asia-Pacific region, after Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Brunei and South Korea, to receive the waiver by Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, 2 days ago.
Starting in November, Taiwanese travelers visiting the United States will no longer need to wait in line to apply for a visa from the American Insititute in Taiwan. All that is needed is a visit to the website of the Department of Homeland Security and an online submission of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The whole process costs a mere US$14.
Since Jason C. Yuan, the chief representative of the Republic of China to the United States, will be relieved from his position on Oct. 4, the Department of Homeland Security decided to declare the visa-waiver status for Taiwan before his departure. Liu Shih-chung, the director of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party's Department of International Affairs, also thanked the United States for putting Taiwan onto their visa-waiver list.
Professor Edward Chen of the Graduate Institute of American Studies at Tamkang University stated that Washington will earn more money from Taiwanese travelers even without the visa surcharge.
Tsai Wei from the Chinese Cultural University of Taipei City said that it is good news for Taiwan to gain visa-waiver status from the United States while there remains no political maining.
A Chinese netizen called "Vacation at New York," said that, despite the fact that far more countries have official relations with China than Taiwan, it is easier for Taiwanese travelers to visit nations around the globe with their green passport. "It is so difficult for me to apply visa from one single nation with my red passport," he said.
Another Chinese netizen stated, "Government leaders can go anywhere, but not ordinary people." Although China has 172 diplomatic alliances, fewer than 20 countries have granted visa-free privileges to the country.
Jacon C. Yuan 袁建生
Liu Shih-chung 劉世忠
Edward Chen 陳一新
Tsai Wei 蔡瑋