As Agra’s Taj Mahal reopened on Monday, 21 September, after an unprecedented closure of six months due to COVID-19 pandemic, the first tourist to visit the monument was Liang Chiacheng from Republic of China i.e. Taiwan.
An official of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told The Quint that the tourist is from Republic of China and attributed the source of information to the register maintained by the organisation.
A local reporter, too, confirmed to The Quint that the visitor is from Taiwan as the register maintained by the ASI mentioned that he is from Republic of China.
He also shared the image of the ASI register in which one can see that the visitor’s name is Liang Chiacheng from Republic of China.
The Quint also accessed the contact number mentioned in the ASI register. This number, however, is not of the tourist but a local resident who helped Liang with tickets of Taj Mahal and other bookings.
The resident shared the clarification issued by the tourist regarding his nationality that clearly says that he is from Taipei, Taiwan.
“There are several Indian local and international news clippings of me since I was the first visitor joining Taj Mahal re-opening after 6 months. With photos and videos, somehow Japanese media mistook me as Japanese.
“For clarification, I am Gimmie Liang, Chinese name is 梁熾誠 (Liang, Chih-Cheng), from Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C)!,” the statement mentioned.
PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA AND REPUBLIC OF CHINA
For more clarity, we also compared the passports of China and Taiwan. The image on the left, uploaded by Getty Images, shows the passport of China, while the one on the right, which was carried in a BBC article, shows Taiwan’s passport.
If one looks carefully, China’s passport mentions “People’s Republic of China” and Taiwan’s passports, both the new and the old one, mention “Republic of China.”