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Over 70 percent of Taiwanese using e-passports: official

2014/06/12 13:14:54

Taipei, June 12 (CNA) Over 70 percent of Taiwanese passport holders are using e-passports equipped with features that make forgery difficult, an official said Thursday.

Among the 11.46 million valid passports currently in circulation, about 71 percent of them are e-passports, said Michael Yiin, deputy director-general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at a regular news briefing.

He made the remarks as the bureau has recently made a promotional video aimed at encouraging Taiwanese to apply for the e-passports, also called biometric passports.

An e-passport looks like a traditional one but contains an electronic chip that is encoded with the holder's personal information. Taiwan has been issuing e-passports since Dec. 29, 2008.

The video, which has versions in Mandarin Chinese, as well as in the Hokklo and Hakka languages, provides information on how to keep the passport safe and on an online appointment system for passport applications, Yiin said.

He also noted that the bureau issued a total of 1.85 million passports last year and said the number for this year is expected to surpass that of 2013.

From January to May this year, the bureau issued 830,000 passports, according to Yinn.

(By Elaine Hou)