MOFA to review World Bank treatment of Taiwanese employees - Focus Taiwan

MOFA to review World Bank treatment of Taiwanese employees

Courtesy of Unsplash
Courtesy of Unsplash

Taipei, Dec. 14 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said on Saturday that it will review the World Bank's treatment of Taiwanese employees, following a report that it only recently took steps to change a policy requiring Taiwanese staff to hold a Chinese passport or lose their job.

The statement made by the ministry came after a report on U.S.-based news website Axios dated Friday indicated that the World Bank had previously told current or prospective employees from Taiwan they must have a Chinese passport in a bid to keep or secure employment at the global financial institution.

MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told CNA that the ministry was fully aware of the unreasonable request made by the World Bank regarding the passports of its Taiwanese employees.

Ou said MOFA had asked Taiwan's international friends to urge the World Bank to change the inappropriate policy in a bid to protect Taiwanese citizens' rights.

According to the Axios report, the World Bank's human resources staffers have told Taiwanese nationals that they can only be hired by the institution if they hold identification documents issued by the People's Republic of China instead of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The report said since Taiwan bars its people from holding dual citizenship with China, the requirement indicates Taiwanese employees would have to give up their Taiwan passports or leave the bank.

China, has waged a decades-long campaign to force Taiwan out of international organizations, the report said.

The report cited a bank spokesperson as saying the World Bank's senior management were only recently made aware of the situation and the institution immediately took measures to revise the guidance.

"Staff who are not nationals of a member country or a country where the World Bank group operates will retain their current employment status," the spokesperson told Axios. "Our Principles of Staff Employment require that we treat our staff fairly. It is regrettable that this past practice led to some staff being asked to obtain another passport for purposes of employment as a national of that member state," the spokesperson said.

In response to the reported comments made by the World Bank spokesperson, Ou said MOFA has taken steps to verify whether the World Bank has changed the passport guidance.

She said the ministry' calls on all of international organizations, including the United Nations, not to yield to pressure from China and resort to political consideration to undermine equal employment opportunities for Taiwan nations in these organizations.

Otherwise, she said, Taiwan nationals will be deprived of the chance to make contributions to the global community, violating the rules and principles on equal treatment established by the UN and its related institutions.

(By Elaine Hou and Frances Huang)

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