Dual Nationality -- Taiwan and USA

The United States does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country. The ROC is not recognized as the legal government of Taiwan. Read the Taiwan Relations Act and see state.gov/s/inr/rls/4250.htm where this is fully clarified.

So, the question arises, why should US citizens be allowed to renounce US citizenship to obtain ROC citizenship, when the ROC on Taiwan is not a legal government, and Taiwan is not a sovereign country?

If you are a US citizen and would like to write a letter to the US State Department about this, I have composed a draft letter and posted it here:

Download this three-page file, and insert your name/address data, as well as the date.
Send it in to the address of the Department of State as indicated.

(It is recommended that you get this file in a new window . . . . . . because sometimes downloading doc files makes WINDOWS become unstable . . . . . . ) I think the programmers at Microsoft should look into this problem . . . . . . . . . .

I don’t think the US really cares why someone renounces their citizenship, and the US government certainly doesn’t base its decision on whether someone should be allowed to renounce their citizenship on their reasons for doing so.

I agree with Poagao, the U.S. doesn’t care why you are renouncing your citizenship and I am sure if you felt the need to do so in Washington D.C. they would gladly accept; however, I am not sure what you would do after that.

I am confused, once again, as to why I should write to the U.S. State Department to complain about a ROC government policy??? As to whether the U.S. recognizes Taiwan as a sovereign nation are not is irrelevant to Taiwanese law, isn’t it??

And I am also sorry but what exactly does the Taiwan Relations Act have to do with foreigners living and working in Taiwan and their relationship with the local government? I really appreciate some help understanding this.

Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
Adopted on 30 August 1961 by a conference of plenipotentiaries which met in 1959 and reconvened in 1961 in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 896 (IX) of 4 December 1954
entry into force 13 December 1975, in accordance with article 18

Article 7

  1. (a) If the law of a Contracting State entails loss or renunciation of nationality, such renunciation shall not result in loss of nationality unless the person concerned possesses or acquires another nationality;

(b) The provisions of subparagraph (a) of this paragraph shall not apply where their application would be inconsistent with the principles stated in articles 13 and 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved on 10 December 1948 by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

  1. A national of a Contracting State who seeks naturalization in a foreign country shall not lose his nationality unless he acquires or has been accorded assurance of acquiring the nationality of that foreign country.

The USA does not appear to have ratified this treaty.

It goes without saying that the ROC hasn’t.

Sorry, but the USA does care about the renunciation by citizens and any loss of US citizenship. Circumstances of Taiwan law and One China policy are a compelling reason to closley examine any anti-American facilitators of this loss of citizenship.

The USA has ratified the Convention on Political Rights which it uses as a platform against the PRC. There is the Joint Congressional-Executive Committee on China for monitoring Chinese compliance. If a violation is occurring in the US laws and its policy, then there is also violation of that Convention with some WTO ramifications. The TRA is outside the CECC mandate created by Congress. The problem of US citizenship loss is the US Senate ratification of SFPT cession, Shanghai Communiques as “civil affairs agreements” with the PRC, and Taiwan Relations Act. The US State Dept has officially created a WTO autonomous separate customs territory originated from the SFPT. You cannot lose your US citizenship under legal circumstances of “separate customs territory” and US judicial case law. The US must terminate the interim status of the Taiwan cession within the framework of One China policy in order for the legal Loss of US Citizenship under US law.

There is another fact to consider. The US and the UN do not recognize the Government of the R.O.C… They also do not dispute the claim of the PRC’s jurisdiction over Taiwan. If you become a citizen of Taiwan then you are a citizen of China. Which China are you a citizen of?

The One China Policy states that there is only ONE CHINA. That is the PRC. Hence, if in terms of being a PRC citizen –
(1) if you have a mainland China passport, then no one can say you are not a PRC citizen.
(2) if you have a Taiwan passport, then no one can say you are a PRC citizen.

The claim that PRC jurisdiction extends over Taiwan is based on a misreading of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.

US citizens overseas are legally entitled to renounce their citizenship. They are warned that they may become stateless if they do so. If they may in fact become stateless how could prohibiting renunciation for the purpose of becoming a non-citizen of a non-state be warranted.

I think a more pertinent question would be, since the ROC is not a recognized sovereignty/nationality, why are US citizens required to renounce citizenship in order to acquire ROC citizenship?

The current US naturalization oath reads, “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen…”

If the ROC doesn’t fall under any of those, then would an ROC citizen seeking naturalization in the US be allowed to retain ROC citizenship (since the US doesn’t recognize his citizenship)?

But I just read somewhere that the naturalization oath is being updated, one of the changes being the elimination of this passage.

The notion that the “Taiwan governing authorities” have any right to issue a “Republic of China passport” is in clear violation of the One China Policy. That the US government could allow the “Taiwan governing authorities” to make a requirement for “renunciation of original nationality” of US citizens is a clear indication that none of the US officials involved are paying attention to their duties and responsibilities under the US Constitution.

You lost me. What is the legal authority of the US over Taiwan that entitles it to allow or disallow Taiwan to do anything?

I imagine it’s rather impertinent of me to reply here, as Richard is more than capable of presenting his own case. But Richard has a rather intriguing theory that Taiwan is a “self-governing dominion” of the U.S., under the authority of the United States Military Government. The “Taiwan governing authorities” are merely deputies, as it were, of the USMG, which is still the legal government of Taiwan, under its authority as the principle occupying power of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. As a delegated authority, then, the “Taiwan governing authorities” have no authority to be issuing passports. All Taiwanese are, in fact, supposed to bear U.S. passports.

The problem is, the U.S. has never acted as if it’s the principle occupying power, the USMG has never acted as if it’s the true governing authority of Taiwan, and none of the discussions or policies of the U.S. government has ever shown the slightest awareness that this is indeed the case. Hence, Richard’s comment that the U.S. government isn’t paying attention to its proper role vis-a-vis Taiwan.

I don’t see that Richard was referring to that in this thread. But anyway here’s my 2 cents on it. Japan took Taiwan from China in 1895 and it was naturally returned to China after the war. I don’t like it either but no amount of legal maneuvering or blaming is going to get around that fact.

Your original question was what authority does the US have to allow or forbid Taiwan to do anything. Richard’s answer is that that authority comes from the US’s role as the principle occupational authority, as specified in the San Francisco Peace Treaty. As such, then, legally the US-Taiwan relationship is defined under the US constitution and US plenary powers doctrine: Taiwan is a “self-governing dominion” with the US Military Government as the principle government of Taiwan; the ROC is the “delegated authority” of the USMG administering Taiwan under the authority of the USMG. Thus the ROC’s authority derives directly from the USMG and the US Constitution.

By what mechanism was Taiwan returned to China after WWII? Neither Cairo, nor Potsdam nor the Japanese Instrument of Surrender carry the legal muscle to effect transfer of sovereignty. The only document sufficient for issues of sovereignty is a treaty, and the only treaty relevant to Taiwanese sovereignty is the San Francisco Peace Treaty, to which neither the PRC nor the ROC was a party. Japan renounced sovereignty over Taiwan in 1952, but the SFPT does not specify to WHOM sovereignty was transferred. Since neither the PRC nor the ROC possesses title to Taiwan, neither can claim sovereignty.

i don’t see any such answer in this thread.

the roc has held sovereignty since 1945. no one has questioned this other than the prc, both speaking in the name of China. that all the legal t’s weren’t crossed in 1952–over 50 years ago–is irrelevant.

Aside from the ROC, I see no one making such a claim. The U.S. certainly disputes it. The PRC as well, as do a large number of countries who hold to Beijing’s one-China policy. As it is difficult to prove a negative assertion (“no one has questioned this”), the burden of proof rests with the one making the positive assertion – i.e., it is up to you to support your claim that most countries recognize the ROC’s claims to sovereignty.

It is highly relevant. When dealing with legal issues (sovereignty is a legal issue) it is very important to cross your t’s and dot your i’s. What is your basis for claiming Taiwanese sovereignty rests with the ROC? Present your argument.

taiwan was ceded to Japan by imperial China via the treaty of Shimonoseki for perpetuity.

Japan surrendered to the allies, with the US being the principle and ceded Taiwan to the allies. Chaing Kai shek took control of the island of formosa/taiwan on behalf of the allies.

If chaing kai shek took control of the area on behalf of the allied powers does nonaction on behalf of the allies therefore give the KMT/ROC squatters rights?

I have to believe the US state department folks are aware of taiwan’s legal status. that waves aren’t made is part of the scheme of maintaing ambiguity. It benefits them to maintain ambiguity.

Have any taiwanese applied for american citizenship based upon such? test cases clarify alot.

after the war most everyone recognized it, until nations began recognizing the prc, they then surely recognized the prc’s claim to taiwan. the point is that be it the roc or prc china has sovereignty over taiwan.

this is my argument: japan took taiwan from china in 1895. after the war it naturally returned to china. this is not questioned by any nation in the world and i would personally believe that very very few people in the us state department or any other department have anything like the views described above.

The idea had occurred to me, but it strikes me as odd. A great deal of the cross-strait instability is because of the ambiguity of the U.S. position. If China attacks, would the U.S. respond? How far will the U.S. bend in its support of Taiwan for the sake of its relationship with the PRC? And why would the U.S. hold to a one-China policy if in fact Taiwan were a US protectorate?

A firm statement from the U.S. on where it stands wrt Taiwan could, as far as I can see, only help to stabilize cross-strait issues.

On 27 June 1950, President Truman, on ordering the 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Strait, asserted: