Denmark reportedly changes status of Taiwanese residents to 'citizens of China'

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Denmark has reportedly recently started changing the nationality of some Taiwanese residents to “Chinese.”

Danish newspaper Berlingske on Sunday (March 24) reported on the case of a Taiwanese woman identified as Liao Tzu-jung (35), who with her Danish partner Daniel Mulnaes (36) recently moved to Denmark. However, when they received notification of their residence cards in February, Liao was shocked to see that her Danish residence card listed her status as “Citizen of China.”

These residence ID cards are similar in size and appearance to driver’s licenses in Denmark and show proof that a foreign national has permission to reside in the country. In the past, Taiwanese were allowed to list their country of origin on these cards as “Taiwan.”

Liao said she was “surprised and shocked” by the erroneous entry on the card. “My partner has always said that Denmark is a country that respects everyone. It is a country for freedom,” said Liao.

According to the newspaper, at least 10 Taiwanese residents have reported to have been subjected to this new policy in Denmark. The government department responsible for creating such ID cards, the Agency for International Recruitment (SIRI), said that changing the country of origin for Taiwanese was the correction of a “regrettable mistake.”

The agency said that in the past, it had by “mistake” registered Taiwanese as being from Taiwan. It claimed that for many years it had a “non-uniform practice” for registering the country of birth for Taiwanese.

According to SIRI, it became aware of the “disparate practice” and “reinforced” to agency staff that holders of Taiwanese passports must be registered as citizens of China. SIRI officials explained that because Denmark does not recognize Taiwan as a state, Taiwanese must be registered under a recognized country.

Since 1978, Taiwanese have been able to list their country of birth as Taiwan. However, in 2021, the Ministry of Interior sent a letter to all municipalities presenting a contradictory directive that although neither Taiwan nor Palestine are officially recognized as countries by Denmark, Taiwanese must be registered as coming from China, while Palestinians can list their country of origin as Palestine.

One of the reporters for the piece, Alexander Sjoberg explained to Taiwan News that the Danish government made an exception to the rule for Palestinians due to “protests from citizen groups.” Sjoberg said although the decision was made a few years ago, it is not clear why Denmark has only recently started enforcing the rule with Taiwanese citizens.

In response to the change, Taiwan Corner Chair Michael Danielsen said, “It is shocking that Denmark is telling Taiwan’s 24 million inhabitants that they are Chinese and may no longer stand by its ‘one-China policy,’ which until now has not taken a position on Taiwan’s status." Danielson added that this is a “paradigm shift in Denmark’s policy, and we are going alone in the EU.”

Danielson pointed out that this policy change has political ramifications because it demonstrates a departure from Denmark’s previous “one China” policy, in which it recognizes China as the sole representative of China, but holds an ambiguous stance on whether or not this means Taiwan is part of China. This new policy points to a shift toward following Beijing’s “one China” principle, which claims that there is only one China and that Taiwan is an integral part of China.

Although the Danish government said that the residence IDs are only used for the residence permit and the country of origin on the cards should not have any effect on the rights of its holders, Liao said, “We have heard about many things that can go wrong if I am registered as Chinese. If I have the wrong nationality, it could mean problems with banks, insurance, and so on.”

Liao also noted that if she and Mulnaes get married in Denmark, she will be registered as “Chinese.” She worried that this could cause problems if she tried to return to Taiwan because of her new status as a “Chinese citizen.”

When asked by Taiwan News to comment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesperson Jeff Liu (劉永健) obtained relevant information and instructed its representative office in Denmark to express serious concern to the Danish government, urging it to promptly correct this issue. Liu said MOFA will closely monitor developments and continue to urge Denmark to rectify the situation to “safeguard the dignity of our nation and the rights of Taiwanese nationals residing abroad.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Denmark has yet to respond to a request by Taiwan News for comment on its policy toward Taiwanese.


This is a hard one. But my thoughts are that Taiwan needs to look at itself instead of pointing the finger at other countries. Obviously Taiwan is de facto independent and behaves so in virtually every way.

But Taiwan cannot reasonably, logically, and fairly expect other countries to stop calling them Chinese when they haven’t stopped calling themselves Chinese.

Passports are issued by the Republic of China. My naturalisation certificate declares me as a citizen of the Republic of China. Every ministry and government office is an office of the Republic of China.

It is a crock of shit for Taiwan’s ‘ambassadors’ to ask other countries governments to stop calling Taiwanese people Chinese when the Taiwanese government calls Taiwanese people Chinese.

It would be better for Taiwan’s representatives to ask countries who do things like this to add (Taiwan) in brackets next to China. Like it does in Taiwan most of the time.

If the ID card said ‘Citizen of the People’s Republic of China’ then that would be a huge newsworthy problem.

But as it stands, the Danish residency cards are correct. They (we) are citizens of China, just not China, China.

I get that there is reason for the failure to formally declare independence and that’s fine but then people need to accept the consequences of that choice or call for change.

Is it frustrating, annoying, and long overdue? Sure. It shits me when I see Taiwan listed as ‘Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, province of China’. But the fact of the matter is, that this is legally and constitutionally true. Taiwan is pointing the finger instead of looking within.

Shouldn’t these people be madder at the Taiwanese government that their ID cards say 中華民國 than foreign governments?

Although, it is curious what prompted Denmark to change.


Also just to add. All ARCs have written on them that you are a resident of the Republic of China. Taiwan is only mentioned in English.

Bit hypocritical


Maybe it’s like the way only black rappers can get away with using the n word :thinking:


I notice Denmark no longer requires foreigners to renounce original citizenship

As long as the Taiwanese government holds this double standard they’re not in a position to complain much, especially when Taiwanese citizens have the opinion that Taiwan makes the laws in Taiwan and if you don’t like it here you should go somewhere else.

Because that argument can go both ways.


The Queen consort of Denmark was born in Australia. She renounced her Australian citizenship to mary the then prince

But I agree with you. I do think Taiwan, and a lot of Taiwanese people are very hypocritical in this regard. They expect other countries to treat Taiwanese better than Taiwan treats themselves.

Labor laws are a good example. Taiwanese in Australia lose their shit if their boss messes up a pay or pays a day late. When the same people work in Taiwan they almost voluntarily hand some of their pay cheques back to their bosses.

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Renouncing your citizenship to hold high positions of leadership is not unreasonable from a national security/where do your loyalties lie standpoint. Our (Taiwan’s) soon to be VP’s mother is European American (and almost certainly a DAR, given all the “going back to the 1600s” nonsense I’ve read about that) but she had to renounce her US citizenship to become an interpreter for the TW government. So not even a remotely high position but still had to prove her loyalty by renouncing her US citizenship.

So Palestinians can say they are from Palestine but Taiwanese cannot say they are from Taiwan … Double standard much?

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I have a neighbour who announces to his young daughter when I pass with my kids: ‘say hello to the English kids’. I thought it was not ill intentioned but anyway on about the third time I am like: my kids were born here, lived here all their lives, and have never been to England. Also I come from Ireland, like my kids are not English kids any more than yours are I don’t know Japanese kids, or Chinese kids or whatever. The guy nods along oh right, yes ok. Next time we pass he is like ‘say hello to the English kids’ again.


Not American?


They can say they are from Taiwan, the Danish government can print whatever they want on government documents.

Don’t like it? Get dual citizenship (lucky for them the Danes don’t require renunciation), or go somewhere else.

It’s not like the Palestinians are issuing passports




I think it’s pretty hard when there’s a gun stuck to your head. That’s why everything has been done except rename the country.

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Can you link to the dual citizenship requirements?

what do you mean?

The Palestinians certainly do issue passports.


I was talking about foreigners getting paperwork

Then that’s probably due to the fact that Palestinian nationality is rather ill-defined.


Right. As is Taiwanese nationality. But they are different cases. I don’t think the Danes are out of line here

Is Taiwanese nationality ill-defined? It’s quite codified.

What do Danes call Greeks then?


I’ve not heard anyone in the government refer to themselves or the people of Taiwan as Chinese or the translation 中國人 in recent times.

I think an issue is the translation of Chinese or another language English. For example North Korea would never accept the term North Korea. They are Chosŏn Minjujuŭi Inmin Konghwaguk in Korean and they use Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

So the big question is to me, what does Denmark put down for people from the PRC? If it’s the same as the ROC that’s where I think is the main reason to complain. Another major issue is if someone gets deported, are they sending them to China or Taiwan?

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