February 1, 1981
WORLD GOVERNMENT PROVIDES POSTAL SERVICE IN TROUBLED AREA, ISSUES FIRST WORLD POSTAGE STAMP
WASHINGTON, DC - "As I received the letter from my father in Taiwan, I couldn't help bursting into tears. Not only did the tears shed from the mutual affection sent on by father and son, but also being deeply moved by your noble spirit...The spirit of your service is unrivaled, noble and great."
These words of Yang Yuming of Gansu Province on mainland China reflect those of many others who have written the World Service Authority's Hong Kong office of their appreciation in being able to hear from relatives after 30 years of no communication between families living on both sides of the Taiwan Straits.
"It's been a low-profile WSA service since August to make sure that we would succeed in getting mail to and from people in Taiwan and those on the mainland," said World Citizen Garry Davis, WSA's president. In addition to issuing World Passports, ID and birth certificates to several hundred thousand people in over 150 countries, Davis said it has been a "long-standing WSA project to make communication possible between people cut-off from each other by national politics. This type of global service would be in accordance with the rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."
"The initiative of Chu Man-Tung, the WSA Regional Secretary in Hong Kong, responding to a real need, gave us the impetus to start the World Government's first postal service on August 22, 1980 between Taiwan and mainland china," said Davis from the WSA Washington head office. He added that until now the service has been provided free of charge because of humanitarian and political reasons "since the two countries don't recognize each other's postage stamps."
The service, Davis said, must now pay for itself so that it can be expanded to other troubled areas. The World Government, therefore, is issuing its first two postage stamps in denominations of 1 mondo and 50 cendoj (equal to US$1.14 and US $. 57 respectively). The mondo and cendoj are the designated names (in Esperanto) of the future currency of the World Government, said Davis. Other areas where WSA's postal service may be used include Cyprus-Turkey-Greece, the Middle East, and North and South Korea.
In providing postal service between individuals living on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, the parties use the Hong Kong WSA office. According to Mr. Chu, they mail their messages in an envelope on which they put the name and address of the recipient. They then place the envelope into a larger one addressed to "WSA, CPO Box 11355, Hong Kong." The original complex form of the simplified Chinese characters are used when writing the name and address on the smaller envelope. No stamps are placed on it. Also, writers on both sides refrain from mentioning any political issues or problems.
To make the service available to as many as possible, WSA's Postal Department in Washington, D.C. and other authorized agents are offering sheets of the 1 mondo and 50 cendoj stamps - 35 stamps to a sheet - to interested collectors and world citizens. Prices per sheet are US$39.90 and US$19.95 respectively plus $2 handling charges.
The 1 mondo stamp was designed by distinguished artist Raymond Whyte of Kennalon, New Jersey, and the 50 cendoj stamps by Guy Steele Fairlamb, a well-known Washington, D.C. artist.
Davis stated that there will be no reprints of this first worldwide issue which will have a printing of only 175,000 of each stamp. The World Government will issue a new series of stamps as necessity and circumstances permit.