Do you have to be born in Taiwan to be Taiwanese?

[quote=“maowang”]Those are imagined political communities of people who have perceived themselves as a “threatened” minority and have sought protection and political (small p) strength in the form of a group. They have opted to overlook differences and identify with the similarities for the purpose of support against an often hostile majority. Examples of hostility could be in the forms of the Chinese Exclusion Act in America ( 1882), The brutal Spanish massacre of “Sangleys” (Traders from Fujian) in the late 17th Century, British colonization of Hong Kong and the New Territories etc…

Each of these examples contributed in the desire of the persecuted or degraded groups to unite and vie for political (small p) power against the “other” group. People who practiced Han customs of filial piety, writing and hair style, shared a similar fate as second class citizens or persecuted people, making the perception of a common destiny in a struggle for political power the one uniting factor in the dispora of ethnic and cultural groups.[/quote]
To an extent, this analysis is accurate … however, legally speaking, you also have to consider some other factors. In the most general way, as I understand it, the issuance of “Overseas Chinese Passports” by the Taiwan governing authorities is in fact a direct reaction to the Chinese refugee problem created after the Chinese Civil War of the late 1940’s.

In other words, a lot of these Chinese refugees fled to other countries, and set up housekeeping there … however, as we see in the case of many Southeast Asian countries, the local laws do not allow these people or their children, etc. to obtain local citizenship. Hence, for example, they may live in Indonesia for several generations, but they don’t have Indonesian citizenship. They are still considered Chinese. So the PRC and the ROC both have procedures for issuing “Overseas Chinese Passports.”

In reality, of course, the failure of these countries’ governments to give these people local citizenship is a violation of international law. There are a number of international conventions on “statelessness” which apply to the handling of these matters, and all these countries are members of the United Nations, so they should be following these conventions.

Now, if your point is that having acquired ROC citizenship, the other Taiwanese would still firmly believe that Taiwanese are Asian-looking, whereas fellow Americans are more flexible (but not completely, as I pointed out) then I’d agree. This is the ‘how others identify you’ question.

However, on the ‘how one identifies his or her self’ question, then you CAN be Taiwanese if you’re white, since you also assert that outward appearances “in no way” define who you are. By this logic there is absolutely nothing to prevent you being Taiwanese in your own self-identity and to hell with other people :slight_smile: [/quote][/quote]

I have a good Chinese / German friend of mine who was born in Taiwan and who grew up in Germany. When he came back here to work he couldn’t speak any Chinese, now he does but with a really heavy German accent. It’s quite funny actually.

Anyway he takes me out to small local Taiwanese run bars in Taichung. We were in one place and the bar tender asked me why my Chinese was much better than my friends. It was sort of hard for her to understand why. So I told her that’s because I’m Taiwanese and he’s German. She get’s that weird confused look on her face and says no, you got your facts mixed up.

So I tell her again, I’m Taiwanese and he’s German. Second time it’s not so amusing for her to hear this. It’s a small bar with perhaps 20 people all with earshot of each other. So she dares us to prove to her whether we are full of shite or not. So my German friend produces his ARC… Nationality, German… and I produce my ROC ID Card… hehehehe

She still couldn’t accept what she was seeing, having just about called us both liars a few minutes earlier. Most locals seem quite happy to know that a white foreigner whould become and ROC citizen. Perhaps it’s because Taiwan is not as bad as people make it out to be.

When I met Daasgrrl at Alleycats, it was really good to talk to her as a fellow aussie with the same mindset and close ages… similar childhod experiences

[quote=“Satellite TV”]So my German friend produces his ARC… Nationality, German… and I produce my ROC ID Card… hehehehe[/quote]:rotflmao:
I hope you take a tube of glue with you when you go out, to offer to people to stick thier minds back together with… :smiley:

[quote=“Satellite TV”][quote]

So I told her that’s because I’m Taiwanese and he’s German. She get’s that weird confused look on her face and says no, you got your facts mixed up.

My point exactly. I imagine the next morning when she woke up she told herself it was all a bad dream and to stop with the “two for you one for me” habit at work…

The vast majority of ppl here identify “Taiwanese” first and foremost on physical characteristics, and only if a blatant system crashing contradiction to this appears, such as above, is any further questioning done. Taiwan today, or any other East Asian country today, is the Canada/US/UK/Aus/blah blah 100 years ago.

Time to broaden thy horizons already…

Yah, theres still a bunch of gun-toting hicks in the previously mentioned western countries who are still ignorant and have this complex, but this is all yibanlaishuo…