"Issued In Taiwan"


The ROC Passport annotation of “Issued In Taiwan” has been hailed as a step forward and as a step back. Is this a muddled political compromise of Taiwan nationality?

I don’t think it very adequately addresses the underlying problem of “mainlander” vs. “native” in Taiwan politics.


This is probabily a step to further define the people of Taiwan as Taiwanese (since they seem to have a continuos identity problem)… while not so far as to make the people non Chinese or part of China.

What ever way it is written, most sides are going to attack it.
It’s really the politic camps again trying to gain some ground on the Taiwan one-China issue

The Taiwan independence camp thinks this is just making Taiwan a province of China (and therefore the PRC), while the Pro China camp thinks it is trying to go a step closer to defining Taiwan as an individual entity (meaning independence).

I think the Mainlander vs. native Taiwanese problem is slowly going away. Wait another twenty years when all the dinosaurs are dead.

Did anyone do a survey on what the ordinary Taiwan person thinks of it?


The ROC press is reporting something like over 60% in favor of it.

I thought those ‘dinosaurs’ of the mainland LY were removed in 1991 when LTH came into power.

I was reading the bilateral Treaty of Taipei on Taiwan Documents, and Article X clearly states the treaty conditions of “Formosans” having ROC nationality.

This is like Puerto Ricans becoming “collectively naturalized” as US citizens by the Congress laws of INA, authorized under that bilateral peace treaty of 1898 with Spain. According to Puerto Ricans, this very fact of their US citizenship is truly most disturbing as the Congress could sell them down the river to another big imperialist power. Even in another hundred years or so, any future Congressional actions could “denaturalize” them, like in the event of independence or “trade”. “Birth in Puerto Rico” is not granted under the 14th Amendment’s “birth-rights” of US citizenship, it was the “naturalization powers”. (Rogers v. Bethei (1972)). SHOCK!

The ROC problem is the Japanese scrapped the treaty in 1972. Now SFPT supersedes it (Art. 26), and the TT states similiar provisions in Art. 11.

Without TT, what is the legal nationality of those Formosans born with a “Japanese Family Register”?

(Remember that traditionally only one’s “patrimonial descent” has ever conferred nationality in Japan and ROC, not birth. However, the ROC changed the Nationality Law on February 9, 2000, so now a child gets ROC nationality if the mother OR the father is an ROC citizen.)


I think perhaps the “dinosaurs” that Zhukov is referring to are all of the people in those generations for whom the distinction between mainlander and Taiwanese was clear cut and therefore more likely to be a cause for tensions, not just the mainlanders but Taiwanese from the old colonial days as well. Whereas for people younger than, say, retirement age, the difference has been lessened, and for the majority of people these days the whole argument seems like a relic of the past that old people like to argue about. In my experience, there’s been so much mixing between the two sides that most people these days just consider themselves both Taiwanese and Chinese, i.e. “Taiwanese” is defined more or less as “a kind of Chinese”. More and more, for most people it’s not an either/or kind of thing anymore.

Of course that is an oversimplification, and you would need an army of trained socioligists to make any real sense of the matter, but I suspect that as time goes on and those generations for which the whole “mainlander/Taiwanese” thing was a big issue fade away, the emphasis on it is diminishing as well.

Personally I don’t really have a problem with the words “Issued in Taiwan”. I don’t know if there is a real need for it, as customs officials are theoretically supposed to at least be able to tell different passports apart, but if it helps the more clueless, IQ-challenged officials figure out what they should already know, than I don’t see why not.


Believe me, that very “small army” of industrial sociologists have been acutely studying this social issue of ‘cleavage of ethnology’. Just trace the career paths of DPP official back to their good ole college days at Academia Sinicia.

There is more to it that we may have recognized.


What happened was something like this. Last Sunday President Chen told members of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) that “Taiwan” would be added to passports. The next day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitted a proposal to the Executive Yuan to add “Issued in Taiwan” to the passports. This annoyed everyone. The unification camp correctly sees that any mention of Taiwan on ROC passports is part of the new government’s efforts to create a Taiwanese identity. The independence camp was annoyed because they felt that they were getting less than they had been promised. Had only “Taiwan” been added, the independence camp would have been satisfied (for now), and the unification camp would have been even more steamed than they are already. So the “Issued in Taiwan” business is a compromise solution that nobody likes.

(A prediction: Heads will roll in the Foreign Ministry over this one. Tian Hong-mao (sp?) is on his way out over his failure to make the civil servants in the Ministry get with the A-bian program. This little episode publicly embarrassed the president, highlighting his lack of authority over key parts of the executive branch and the civil service.)

The identity issue in Taiwan is not going to go away anytime soon. Because it is such an explosive issue, many people don’t like to discuss it openly just as, for example, many Americans don’t care to discuss race. This leads to bizarre shadow plays like the one we just saw over “Issued in Taiwan” where the talking heads on TV were screaming at each over whether Taiwanese overseas will be inconvenienced by the new passports. The underlying issue is identity politics.

My sense is that over the last ten years, the identity issue has more or less been resolved in favor of what I would call the mild strain of Taiwanese identity. This is not the virulent strain preached by members of the old Japanese-educated elite like Lee Teng-hui (many of whom have real, legitimate grievances), but simply a strong affection for Taiwan and its way of life. It does have a political charge to it though–a fundamental antipathy to the idea of political unification with China. This antipathy was what one of the major reasons that New Party and the right wing of the KMT had such a poor showing in the recent elections.

Shouldn’t this thread be moved to an new Politics Board?


Not quite political because here comes the true crux of the legal issues.

The Taipei Times has ran a letter by Hemut Yu of Australia calling for a “red passport” and “blue passport” issued by Taiwan.

Basically he is calling for a ROC “Issued In Taiwan” Passport for the mainland descendents of “Chinese nationality” and “Blue Passport” for those native inhabitants of Taiwan cession from Japan.

There are very sound legal reasons for the Blue Passport because of the termination of the Treaty of Taipei by Japan in 1972. Article X of Taipei Treaty was the only legal application of “Chinese nationality” to Formosa. The SFPT was the legally superior treaty to TT and there are no provisions of nationality under SFPT. However, as an operation of international law, the native inhabitants will automatically gain the local nationality of their territory until the final resolution of the SFPT. This is documented and such is supportable in international law.

Thus, there is a very sound “interim” nationality basis of Taiwan nationality of the Blue Passport, issued in Taiwan, only for Taiwanese natives. The ROC is the legitimate government of Taiwan, and there is no legal issue of “Taiwan Republic”, but the natives are not yet legally as “ROC” citizens under the SFPT. They are entitled to be as the equivalents of such but a “Blue Passport”, ROC issued on the peace treaty authority of Taiwan, would prevent them from being “stateless” persons of Taiwan. The greater chances are that there may never be any “Taiwan Republic” passport because of the “One China” issues of SFPT.


So, according to your reasoning, persons of native american ancestry in the US and Canada could have their own passports as well, separate from US passports.

The Taipei Times has ran a letter by Hemut Yu of Australia calling for a "red passport" and "blue passport" issued by Taiwan.

Basically he is calling for a ROC “Issued In Taiwan” Passport for the mainland descendents of “Chinese nationality” and “Blue Passport” for those native inhabitants of Taiwan cession from Japan

You should read that letter. http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/01/20/story/0000120730

He wasn’t saying that at all. What he was saying is that they could issue two passports, one saying China and one saying Taiwan. People could pick which one they wanted and then they’d all be happy with what they got.

My question is: Do we really need more differntiation between (1) “mainland” Chinese inhabitants of Taiwan and (2) “we came from the mainland longer ago than you did” Chinese inhabitants of Taiwan? Really!!!


Paogao is historically correct in his jibe at me.
Native Americans were not even citizens under the treaty cessions of 1868, and a famous case made this very issue of “dependent government” on US soil to be landmark and controversial. Congress finally did grant all Native Americans including Alaskans US citizenship by legislation.

As for Taiwan, it is correct but there is the inherent inequality of it to make the Taipei Treaty case of “separate but equal” passports of Taiwan.

In practice, one would be able to choose by legal affirmation of which “nationality”–Taiwan or ROC China-- of a Taiwan passport to carry. Otherwise, the prevailing one might become automatically phased in without any further action for the rest of society.

This very duality of passports or allegiances to Taiwan will become an issue in the future as ROC passports might very well become a relic of history which some cannot let go of easily. Let them retain their rights of “ROC nationality” by legal affirmation in court before some distant, future deadline. This has been done in a very similiar practice in other countries including the USA.


Actually, Paogao makes an interesting point. What is not very widely known is that some Native American nations in the US do have their own passports, which are equally effective as US passports. (Inhabitants can use/obtain both passports).

Unfortunately I’d have to say the “native Taiwanese/mainlander” issue isn’t as dead as you may think (or as it should be). I know of several people in their early twenties who had to break up (or at least underwent significant pressure) because their significant other was a ‘mainlander.’ Of course, being 20, that means either your father or father’s father came from the mainland.

Fortunately the younger generation couldn’t care less about this.


A few American Indian tribes do or have made past claims of separate tribal nation passport. They were deemed as ‘dependent nations’.