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Monday, 31 December, 2001, 10:13 GMT
Taiwan logo change challenges China
Military police on motorcycle pass through Taipei, on 10 October, 2001, Taiwan's National Day
China considers Taiwan a renegade province
By Michael Bristow in Taipei

A key government department in Taiwan is changing its logo.

This might not seem that important, but China's leaders will no doubt interpret the move as another step on the road towards Taiwanese independence.

The tense relationship between China and Taiwan has many unusual features, and none more so than the need to keep up appearances.

It does not matter how things are, so much as how they look.

With that in mind, Taiwan's government information office changing its logo on Monday, looks set to cause a fresh stir.

Passport change

The old one, which had on it a map of China and Taiwan, will be replaced by a logo that does not have the map. It might appear a minor point, but it will almost certainly anger Beijing, which believes Taiwan is part of China and dislikes any move that suggests otherwise.

This all comes hard on the heels of a possible change to Taiwanese passports, which next year could include the word 'Taiwan' on the front for the first time.

Currently, the phrase 'Republic of China' - Taiwan's official name - is on the front. Taiwanese officials say changes are made merely to avoid confusion.

But China's leaders, who are annoyed about the possible passport change, will probably not be happy about the new government logo either.

See also:

03 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan tells China to respect election
01 Dec 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan turns away from old masters
21 Nov 01 | Asia-Pacific
Taiwan election campaign opens
16 Nov 01 | Business
Recession hits Taiwan
21 Feb 01 | Asia-Pacific
Q&A: Taiwan's relations with China
06 Aug 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Taiwan
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