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Taiwan's New Passports Had One Big Problem

They used a photo of Dulles airport in DC, not one in Taiwan; official resigns
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 29, 2017 9:11 AM CST

(Newser) – An official in Taiwan has stepped down from her post after what looks to be a multimillion-dollar mistake involving hundreds of thousands of passports. Focus Taiwan reports that Agnes Chen, the chief of the country's Bureau of Consular Affairs, resigned Wednesday after it was discovered the nation's new passport had on it a picture of DC's Dulles International Airport instead of Taiwan's Taoyuan International Airport. The wrong image was imprinted on 200,000 new passports, which will now be sent back to the printer to be redone; 285 passports that were already handed out will be recalled.

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The Washington Post notes "more than a passing resemblance" between the two airports, citing an architectural website that says the designer of the Taiwanese airport was "influenced" by the DC building, built 17 years earlier. Still, Chen is taking the fall for the goof. "I apologize to the public for the major oversight and will take full administrative responsibility for the incident," she said at a press conference. It's not clear how much it will cost to reprint the passports, but the original run ran about $2.7 million. (Read more Taiwan stories.)

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