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Taiwan to recall 285 passports after US airport mistake

Composite image showing Dulles Airport and the new Taiwanese passport Image copyright Weibo/Getty
Image caption Taiwan's new biometric passport takes inspiration from Washington's Dulles airport

Taiwan is set to recall 285 passports that mistakenly feature Washington's Dulles International Airport instead of Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport.

The error was pointed out by social media users after the new version of the biometric passport went into circulation on Monday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) acknowledged on Tuesday it was indeed the wrong image.

A total of 200,000 passports have already been printed.

The ministry has apologised, saying one of the designers of the new passport had mistakenly chosen a photo of Dulles to represent Taiwan's biggest airport, according to news outlet Focus Taiwan.

Image copyright Taoyuan International Airport
Image caption This is what the Taiwanese airport actually looks like

The mistake was first highlighted by a Facebook user who posted a photograph of the passport, captioning it the "51st state of America".

The image was then widely shared by internet users on micro-blogging site Weibo, many of whom were quick to criticise the mistake.

"This guy doesn't even know how his own airport looks like?"one user on Weibo said.

"Taiwanese people went to sleep and woke up as Americans," said another comment.

"This isn't funny. It's a huge mistake," another added.

MOFA has said that all copies of the new passport would be replaced, and passports with a new design would be printed and ready in one month.

It added that applicants who apply for a new passport before then would be issued an older version of the biometric passport.

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