Dispute with neighbors -- I think the police are biased against foreigners

My racist/xenophobic neighbors put a camera on the rooftop of the building next to me. They don’t live there it’s just a flat rooftop space. My apartment is next to it on the roof. They pointed a camera at my bedroom window from their side to my side for 5 months. It was placed 3 meters from & pointing directly at my bedroom window. I asked them to take it down, my landlords asked them to take it down, the city leader person asked them to take it down, but they never did.

They put the camera there because that’s where they feed the birds at 6 in the morning everyday. Hundreds of birds come down and wake me up early in the morning and poop on my clothes. I have photo and video evidence of this.

I complained to the police department about the camera violating my privacy. If I turned on my bedroom light at night with the window open, the neighbors could record everything inside my bedroom. This is a violation of criminal code 315-1. The police of course never acted on it.

After 5 months of this camera being there, I just removed it myself and tossed it. It was placed like 3 meters from my bedroom window in a non-residential rooftop shared space.

The neighbors, who live somewhere down inside the building next to me, complained to the police department. Of course now that it’s Taiwanese person they listen, and they promptly sent non-English speaking police officers to my house buzzing my door everyday. They inspected the grounds outside my apartment and forced me to sign a document in Chinese that I had no idea what it was.

Then lo and behold, I have a criminal charge against me for taking the camera down! Wtf, I never knew in Taiwan people are allowed to put up cameras and record other people’s bedroom windows. Even though they are allowed access to their side of the rooftop, it’s not a residential area that they own. My side is a residential area where I live.

They have also harassed me over the last two years. They came onto my property several times to tear down posters that I had put up (I put up horror posters next to my bedroom window so that would be included in their footage). To try to provoke me all the time. Flicking cigarette butts over onto my balcony (I asked them to not smoke where I hang my clothes). They have yelled racial slurs at me in Chinese and told me to ‘leave Taiwan’ in English.

All of this has been causing me daily panic attacks. I can’t afford to leave my home now with the lawyer’s fees. Actually, because of them I’ve been struggling from depression and anxiety. The police knew this as it was in my complaint, but still treated me like some sort of criminal. When I went to the police station all the officers were shouting “Go to Ministry of Foreign Affairs” to the wind and laughing like this is some sort of joke.

When I tried to turn in my complaint about the video camera the English-speaking officer in the police department was too busy eating his dinner to listen to my side of what was going on. He told me to come back about the criminal complaint against me, and literally threw my complaint about the neighbors in the garbage saying he wouldn’t accept it.

I feel this country is not safe for foreigners because we are not treated equally under the law. Technically I’m not a foreigner, I’m an immigrant because I have an APRC. Article 7 of the constitution says we are supposed to be treated equally regardless of race, Article 16 says we have the right to lodge a complaint.

Apparently, APRC holders are not afforded the same rights. In fact, the police told me that I need to learn Chinese. In other countries, like the US, permanent residents do not need to learn English to be afforded the same rights as natural born citizens. Moreover, it is extremely impolite to tell them that they need to go learn English and brush them off if they need help. ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE TAX PAYERS. I pay my taxes every year, but am not even given the same services as a Taiwanese person?

The neighbors even submitted the video camera footage to the police station, the footage shows my bedroom window in full view (I saw this because I had to go there about destruction of property charge). They submitted it to show that I took down their camera and destroyed their property. This is the same as removing a camera that you discovered in public restroom toilet. Imagine being charged for destruction of property in that case while the person who placed the camera there walks free. That’s the logic the government is using against me.

The government takes the Taiwanese people’s side and any English you write down or say will be ignored. The Taiwanese person will hide behind the xenophobic idea that you are the big bad foreigner here to cause problems. Screw this place for taking my tax dollars and filing a criminal charge against me.

Warning to everyone. DO NOT MOVE TO TAIWAN. If you are waiting here, and expecting to stay here, do realize no matter how long you are here you will never be treated equally. You will never be listened to if you have a legal problem. This country is completely racist and xenophobic towards foreigners. And I do plan to leave after my legal stuff.

Yes, I am responsible enough to try to deal with it before leaving. When really I should just cause some trouble and get on a plane and leave forever. I’ve wasted 10 years of my life living here, always thinking things will get better when I encounter blatant racism and xenophobia.

If you are here waiting for an APRC or on the fence of about leaving, please just leave. Nothing is ever going to change here. Because Taiwan is so homogeneous that they are completely unaware of their own discriminatory minds.


You haven’t got the hang of Taiwanese-style passive-aggression. The correct response would have been to set up a microwave antenna directly opposite the camera and blast it with EMI. Instructions on the Dark Web.

Seriously, I completely get your frustration and you’re broadly correct - the law really doesn’t work properly here. It’s not racism as such. I’ve known foreigners who were treated equally and fairly under the law in such cases. But it is … highly erratic. There are really only two effective ways to deal with this sort of situation: threaten (in fluent Taiwanese) to send your Taike friends over for a little chat about the camera, or move.


I’m gonna tell you this. I can understand your predicament as frustrating and that there are a lot of people indeed who do alot shitty types of behaviour. But I will most certainly condemn you if your go-to is to cause some trouble and leave…especially as I’ve worked tirelessly to under-the-radar campaign to politicians to open up the citizenship process for us. Both local media and Taiwan News is very jittery when a foreigner even so much as sneezes. But if you do something that ends up being front page news, you’ve just made it 10x harder for the rest of us who actually DO like Taiwan, despite its faults and DO generally have a good experience here. I had a good experience in my complaint against someone and won that battle. If the officials are giving you a hard time, find another official. You do have rights here. One of my wins is actually well documented on the forums here, and that was against a multi-million dollar company.

Do not cause trouble please.


regulations have been changing and the number of non pure han Chinese people in Taiwan has been increasing in 30 years.

I don’t think he’s serious about that Marco - just blowing off steam, I’d guess. It really does drive you nuts when people are petty and unpleasant just because they think it’s fun.

I can’t help wondering if the OP offended them in some way without realising it.

Can’t risk it. Making little strides towards progress. Starting to break in.

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I said I wasn’t going to cause trouble, but should. Please go back and read that again. I did contact many different officials and have a lawyer. They tell me Taiwanese people have a different idea of privacy. In the video my bedroom window takes up about 30% of the screen, so because it’s not 100% then it’s ok.

No one will read anything that takes more than a sentence to explain. English words are much longer than a Chinese character and fill a page much faster. Every time I have sent a complaint, nobody has read it. They just say something to the effect of ‘we are following up on the complaint against you. So we already know what happened.’ and politely give me back my complaint.

5 posts were split to a new topic: “There is no such thing as racism against foreigners…”

I’m aware of this. I said ‘If’ to demonstrate I know it’s a hypothetical and to deter you from this thought 100%. Please do not think about doing things that would hurt us more than you think would be hurting and creating more bigotry than is already necessary.

Damaging property is always a bad move.

I feel for you, but your experience isn’t the norm in Taiwan.


I’ve been here 10 years. I’ve been told to “if you want to live here and work here then go learn Chinese.” This is offensive and I wouldn’t say that to a green card holder in America. I’m constantly referred to as 外國人 even when people know my name. People stare at me as if I’m some sort of zoo animal on the street. People being like overcareful of everything when around you or looking nervous. You say not the norm? You must live deep inside Taipei metropolitan area. It is the norm here.

As for damaging property. Think of the bathroom toilet, it is similar logic. If I am naked in my bedroom at night that camera could record me if my window is open.

One more thing, the comment where the person said "Both local media and Taiwan News is very jittery when a foreigner even so much as sneezes. " This just proves this even further that Taiwan is xenophobic. If a Taiwanese person causes a crime it’s not a big deal in media / gov’t, but if it’s a foreigner then oh my god it’s an invasion. This seems like Donald Trump logic.

You could have been filmed naked in your bathroom if the window was open, but the damage to the camera is fact.

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this sounds like a reasonable advice. I was said the same thing in the US, btw. Chinese replaced by English, and I didn’t have a green card, though. The US requested me English for a visa.


Yes, and if I were being filmed naked in my bathroom with the window open and the person was caught doing it, then they should get a criminal charge.

That is the “two wrongs make a right” logic that is complete bs.

Whomever said that to you in the US was a racist a-hole. And they were not right to say that.

Btw… we have many Spanish, Chinese, Korean etc green card holders that do not speak English.

Seems like you have some other issues wth taiwan.

There were many other options you had… You could have put up a screen or something to block the camera, but blinds on your windows, etc. Etc

But as others have said…the police said they weren’t breaking the law and You went onto their property and damaged /stole property.
This is not a proper response in Taiwan or anywhere.

In regards to your discrimination… I have also been here ten years. I don’t feel the same way at all. Perhaps taiwan isn’t the place for you, it happens.
Something to think about


Sorry replied to wrong poster


Learning Chinese in Taiwan isnt exactly an outrageous suggestion is it? It makes your life easier and it’s not incumbent on them to learn your language.


IT WAS NOT THEIR PROPERTY. It is the rooftop. And they came onto mine as well without permission from me.

I already said I’m getting out of here. So you don’t need to remind me that Taiwan is not the right place for me.


I work full time and study, I don’t have the money or time to learn fluent Chinese. Besides, I can hold a basic conversation in Chinese. And I have taken two semesters and classes here and there. It isn’t as if I never made any attempt. And it is not required for me to have the same rights as natural born Taiwanese.