Natives of Taiwan are listed as coming from China.

Former Soviets now are natives of Russia, Ukraine or Lithuania.

And Israelis born in the Golan Heights are listed as natives of Syria.

U.S. policy and historical changes dictate how the Passport Services Agency lists a passport holder's place of birth.

The rules have been in place since February 1993, said Christopher Lamora, a spokesman for the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs. The requirements specify that:

* American citizens born in Taiwan are to be listed as being born in China because of the U.S. government's "one-China" policy, Lamora said.

If they object, they can have their city of birth listed on their passport instead.

Taiwanese who insist on having the name Taiwan on their passports will get it, Lamora added. But then the Chinese government won't grant them a visa if they wish to visit mainland China.

* Americans born in the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967, are listed as having been born in Syria, states a document from the Passport Services Agency. U.S. policy holds that the territory rightfully belongs to Syria.

* The names Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and West Bank--not Israel--appear in U.S. passports for people from those Israeli-occupied zones.

* Americans' place of birth is Panama if they were born in the former Canal Zone after Oct. 1, 1979, when the transition to Panamanian control began. If born before then, "Canal Zone" may be listed as their place of birth.

The place of birth is the country that now has sovereignty over the area where someone was born.

Natives of the former Soviet Union, for example, now are listed having been born in Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, the Ukraine or other republics granted their independence.

Natives of the former Czechoslovakia now are listed as coming from either the Czech Republic or Slovakia.

* People born in airplanes over international airspace are listed as being born "In The Air." People born in a boat in international waters are listed as being born "At Sea."

* People born in the 50 U.S. states have their place of birth listed as the state, followed by "U.S.A." Passports for those born in the District of Columbia have their place of birth listed as "Washington, D.C., U.S.A."