There have been several articles in the Chinese-language Taiwan press recently about Brendan O’Connell, a Catholic Father who has served in Taiwan for over 50 years. Father O’Connell has founded several local foundations that take care of children with delayed development issues.
Importantly, he has been pushing the MOI to revise the ROC Nationality Law and allow foreigners to obtain local nationality without having to renounce their original nationality.
Apparently, the officials at MOI are taking his pleas seriously, and have drafted some amendments to the ROC Nationality Law which will be scheduled to be reviewed by the Legislative Yuan.
I found one good news article about this in the China Post, as follows –
chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/nati … denies.htm
The news report says that for many years, “Father O’Connell has repeatedly expressed his wish to be granted Taiwanese citizenship and to obtain an ROC Nationality Identification Card so that he can become a true Taiwanese.” I think that many of us who have lived here for a decade or two or three or four probably feel the same way. We are tired of being subject to all types of social, educational, retirement-related, property-purchase, loan application, credit card application, etc. types of financial, economic, and general livelihood discrimination.
Moreover, people born of Taiwanese parentage can have dual nationality with no restrictions (except for the matter of serving in the civil service … ), so why can’t we?? Why are whites, blacks, South-Asians, etc. treated differently from people of Taiwanese (“Chinese”) ancestry in this regard??
I think that all of us should applaud Father O’Connell for his efforts.
I was instrumental in establishing the category of “permanent residency for foreigners,” and pushed legislators to have several public hearings on that issue in the late 1990s. Of course we invited high officials of the MOI, MOEA, NHI, MOFA-BOCA, and Executive Yuan to attend, with the hope of building some consensus on that issue. At the time, everyone said that my proposals were “far to radical” and “did not correspond to traditional Chinese thinking” during that era. However, when the Immigration Law was passed by the Legislature and then came into effect in 2000, it did contain the specifications for foreigners to apply for permanent residency in Taiwan. Granted, those requirements were somewhat strict at the time, but over the years we have seen quite a bit of relaxation of some of the more troublesome aspects.
Now, I think we are ready for the next step. Let’s support Father O’Connell in heading up this new push for dual nationality status.
If anyone can provide contact information for Father O’Connell, whether snail-mail or email, I would be anxious to send him my best regards, including wishes for both ongoing success in his foundational work, and with his MOI negotiations.