When using postal services to send something to Taiwan, how should one address the country? Whether you write Taiwan or R.O.C. (Republic of China), the mail usually reaches the recipient. Recently, someone carried out an interesting experiment to see if there was a difference in the time it takes for a letter to reach the island, depending on how you address the country.
A Taiwanese person traveling in Germany sent three postcards from Berlin to a friend back home using the various addresses Republic of TAIWAN, Republik of Formosa ed Pescadores, and Republic of China. The postcards were all sent on April 17, and the results were as follows:
The postcards addressed to Taiwan and Formosa both arrived April 25, while the one addressed to Republic of China didn’t arrive until May 19 – a difference of 24 days. Having posted the results of the experiment on Taiwan’s popular PTT bulletin board, netizens theorized that using ‘Republic of China’ on mail probably results in it getting sent to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) first, after which it slowly makes its way across the strait.
2 thoughts on “Taiwan or Republic of China: How to Address Formosa in Snail-Mail”
I wonder what would happen if they wrote “Taiwan”, “ROC”, or “Taiwan, ROC”. I advise people to write “Taiwan” and leave off “ROC” on addresses in the theory that “ROC” would cause the letter to be sent to China. However, I’ve heard stories of letters addressed to “Taiwan” being sent to Thailand.
I always write Taiwan, ROC. Never had a problem.