Overseas Americans in Taiwan

In reference,
I was brainstorming with a few friends and family about this and we were all hard pressed to come up with a solution. It seems that the government in Taiwan sees fit to do as they like concerning foreign residents and their families. I would like to thank Mr. Hartzell for his recommendation but I cannot see how taking a legal course of action will benefit anyone but the people who initiate it. There needs to be a major policy shift on the part of the R.O.C. government concerning foreign residents and their families.
Here is one solution that may be most effective for at least the Americans living here. We as Americans have a representative form of government. Meaning we elect representatives to our government and they are supposed to express our concerns and views to the government and influence the laws and regulations to that end.
We as Americans living overseas have no one elected representative in government to represent our views. We can however still vote to elect representatives from the area we last resided or choose to reside in the US.
If we as a group all registered to vote in one congresspersons electoral area and agreed to vote en masse, we would in fact have a voice in congress.
The United States of America is the one country in the world responsible for the survival and well being of the R.O.C. and as such can exert great influence on the local government and their policies.
What I am suggesting is this:

  1. An organization be established with the sole purpose of electing a representative to the US congress to represent the Overseas Americans Residing in Taiwan views to that body.
    a. The said representative should be a voting member of the House of Representatives and be elected from a district in a State with no income tax.
    b. All perspective voters should register to vote in the representative

please delete

I’m confused. Do you, personally, desire Taiwan independence or unification with China?

Umm… come on, guys. It’s JasonLin you’re talking about here.
Let’s stay on topic, and keep the discussion intelligent (ie, ignore his posts).

Excuse my ignorance, but what are you trying to say here? Do you understand the concept of “legal precedent”?

If you are not going to fight for your rights, then you don’t have any rights. It is that simple. (Sorry if this sounds harsh . . . . . )

Excuse my ignorance, but what are you trying to say here? Do you understand the concept of “legal precedent”?[/quote]

The question is, does either the Taiwan executive or judiciary understand the concept of legal precedent?


isn’t it illegal for foreigners in taiwan to organize for political ends? wouldn’t the creation of such an organization itself be illegal?

I think he means that we could all register in on congressional district, and then we would have a significant number of votes with which to pressure the representative of that district to lobby in the US Congress for the US government to pressure the Taiwan government on our behalves.

I don’t think this would work very well, nor do I think it could ever be done (i.e., getting all US citizens in Taiwan to register in a single Congressional district back in the States).

But I give the poster credit for creativity :wink: .

I think a signed petition with a list of grievances of the foreign community would do about as much good … which is probably not much … but you never know. I think Taiwan gets away with a lot simply because the U.S. likes to hold it out as an example of a “Chinese democracy” in juxtaposition to the Communist mainland. Therefore, I don’t see the U.S. exerting much public pressure on Taiwan lest it be forced to admit that Taiwan isn’t the democratic utopia that it would like others to believe.

However Taiwan desires and decides to deal with its foreign population is not necessarily indicitive of the success or validity of its democratic system.

A “democratic” system is not a guarantee of an “utopia” in any event. Taiwan is a pure democracy… and some have described pure democracies as systems where 51% of the population is entitled to oppress the other 49%.

Have you served in the army already? If not, when will you?

The way I understand it the precedent has been set many times. The problem is the government of the R.O.C. chooses to ignore it for whatever reason strikes their fancy that day. I believe we would have more success winning a fight for our rights by taking this matter before our own goverment.

This is not an attempt by foreigners to organize a political organization here in Taiwan. What I am suggesting is we organize a political organization to influence policy in the US concerning Taiwan.
I think getting people to join and register would be very easy if it is done the right way. The idea being that if we all register in a state with no income tax, then people from states with income tax would be inclined to join, just to save some money. If we provided all the forms and assisted in filing the paperwork, it would be a great service to all involved.
The fact is, that it is unethical and possibly illegal for any organization to force it

Marriage of convenience, for who?? For a non-Taiwanese? Oh yeah, the joy of the permanent resident card, of which only 63 Americans have one in Taiwan. I bet their are more than 63 Taiwanese in California with green cards or US passports. For the Taiwanese? Oh yeah, nothing like the joy of having an American and a Taiwanese passport. However, for the non-Taiwanese to get a Taiwanese passport they have to renounce their original passport and citizenship, ain’t never going to happen.

As for equal/almost equal treantment, you get that in the US without having to renounce your citizenship or serve in the military, so what’s your point? Yeah, your right, Taiwanese should have their cake and be able to eat it too, but not us foreigners, oh no, that wouldn’t be fair.

I would love to see a change in the US immigration and citizenship laws that would require all foreign nationals granted US citizenship to have to renounce their original citizenship. That would only be fair, wouldn’t it? I would love to see the look on the faces of all those Taiwanese that are used to playing both sides depending on what was most advantageous at the time.

As for renouncing my citizenship to be a part of Taiwan, why should I? So I can be left holding the bag when the big, bad PRC comes and all the dual citizenship Taiwanese flee the island to greener pastures in another country? I don’t think so.

Boomer- interesting idea. Wouldn’t you have to pick a state with lax residency requirements? There used to be lots of voter fraud (people crossing state lines to vote in other elections), so I imagine they try to discourage it. Since most of these people would never have actually lived in that state before, that could be a problem. I know NY has a requirement that you must live in NY at least 30 days. Plus you have to provide a NY address. If your address said “Chiayi City…”, that might raise some red flags. And you have to sign an affidavit attesting to the fact that the information is correct and that you’ve lived in the state before.

Voter registration is easy to do by mail these days, as are absentee ballots, and you can get all those forms online. So I think the only issue is to do some research and find a state with lax residency requirements and no taxes. If you have a state in mind, post a link and maybe some people here would jump on the bandwagon.

If you want to have some influence, I’d pick a state with a small population. Otherwise, the concerns of a few hundred absentee Americans living in Taiwan is going to get ignored. A state with a decent size Asian population (from Taiwan specifically) would also increase the senator/representative’s interest in serving this niche constituency. And having existing senators and representatives that sit on foreign policy or related committees would also be smart.

For the same amount of effort, though, you could probably have just as big an impact if you wrote a white paper on the top ten concerns of foreigners living in Taiwan and asked AIT to call a press conference to publicize it. AIT already does an annual paper, but it represents American business interests primarily I think, not actual Americans living in Taiwan. The local press would eat it up and maybe you’d be able to influence the Taiwan government more directly.

Writing a

FWIW, I have a pretty decent connection with Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD), so if a large group of people wanted to get together and draft a petition/letter with some grievances, I could get it to him and make sure it is at least read by him personally. Probably wouldn’t do much good, but it’s better than sitting behind the keyboard every day and complaining.

he he.


In the age of the Internet coupled with the power and speed of the media, you would be amazed at what a small group of individuals can accomplish. This group has already formed an online community. Your suggestion to build a website and an official organization is the next step, and doesn’t require anything more than sitting down and doing it. Once a website exists, then someone writes a white paper, perhaps after “official studies” (forumosa polls) polling foreigners on their top policy desires. Believe me, anybody, and I mean anybody, can call a press conference these days. Having a website legitimizes you and makes you seem real, and it doesn’t matter how many people are really working in the organization. In this day, media and Internet savvy are better political skills than traditional connections, I think.

The idea that connections are the key to everything has some merit, but I wouldn’t let that stop you. Even if you get someone with connections to help represent foreigners, the chances are that this person has a zillion policy priorities, the very least of which is absentees in Taiwan with no dollar donation power. Plus, everything in a senator/representative’s office is handled by legislative assistants and legislative correspondents. This type of constituent stuff would be handled by them.

But if you drum up a lot of media attention, every politician (Taiwanese and American) involved will want to get on the bandwagon and be perceived as being active and responsive. So at the end of the day, to get congress’s attention, you need to drum up publicity anyway.

So a good way to bring these ideas together might be to start an organization with a website, write a white paper, and then have people from DIFFERENT states submit the paper to their various congressional representatives and senators and governors even. You could ask the congressional office to address a letter to whomever you are targeting (Chen Shui Bian etc) supporting their constituent’s requests and asking that Chen Shui Bian take give these ideas serious consideration. If you had a white paper with supporting letters from congressional offices, you would have the veneer of legitimacy, enough to get maybe AIT help or even if not, you could call your own press conferences and start drumming up some media publicity. When there is media publicity, politicians start to listen. No politician wants to look bad in front of the media.

To whomever decides to act on these ideas, if you are representing the foreigner community in the media, please act responsibly and look respectable. It would be a disservice to the foreigner community to have some hack (left or right wing) spewing whiny BS and making foreigners look bad. But if someone makes reasonable suggestions to the Taiwan government and gets backing from as many congressional groups as possible and tries to publicize it, this sort of thing could be great for the foreigner community.

I for one would write to the NY senators and congresspeople, who would probably support something like this given the large Asian constituencies here. And people should get their arses registered to vote in their home states with absentee registrations, so that they can claim to have voted for someone even if they didn’t.

So Jason, if you really think that people should take others immigration laws as they find them, regardless of what the laws are in their own home country, than what is your point in the past two posts? In one post you are upset that you think foreigners are draft dodging leeches that won’t renounce their citizenship for Taiwan, even though Taiwanese can have multiple citizenships. In the next post you state that Taiwan is different for its own special reasons and doesn’t have to be the same as everyone else regarding immigration. So if I follow your advice and I take Taiwan’s immigration laws as I find them, and don’t serve in the military, than what’s your farking point? It really feels like your point is that if a foreigner has an advantage that’s not ok, but if a Taiwanese has the same advantage than that’s ok. I get so tired of this double standard crap. I get so tired of having Western ideals of fairness flipped on us constantly by Chinese/Taiwanese that will use it to their advantage, but you try the same with them and they rally behind some excuse that things are different here. Eat your cake and eat it too! :smiling_imp:

Why would it be illegal for Americans in Taiwan to organize to influence American foreign policy towards Taiwan, regardless if we are in the US or in Taiwan? Taiwanese Americans in the US do this all the time by forming special lobbies and interest groups to promote Taiwan issues in the US Congress. WHO is their latest big push.