Serious request to foreigners in Taiwan about your rights

Dear foreigners living in Taiwan,

I’m a member of this forum since a few days, but I’m surprised and shocked what I have read here.

I’m a member of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and know the Legislators of my party and some of the DPP.

Here in Europe I always tried to improve status of Taiwanese people living in Europe, but this should be based on equalism.

I want to collect what you think that should be improved in Taiwan by the law?

I mean general things and not single situations.

I cannot promise to bring quick improvements, but step by step your situation in Taiwan could improve. I will use all my ? to make little improvements or make at least some legislators listen to such issues.

But please don’t compare Taiwan with Western countries. The policy is still influenced by old Chinese and Japanese mentality in Taiwan. And great companies are still very powerful, standing sometimes over the law.

So please tell what you think… what should change?

How could you help? What would you do with the information we provide you with?

I assume that what you are speaking of is international reciprocity.

It is a fact that most countries in North America, Central America, Europe, etc. allow Taiwanese citizens to obtain local citizenship without the requirement of renunciation of original citizenship. Hence, for starters, the foreigners in Taiwan would like similar rights … as you say, based on equalism. If the foreigner’s home country allows Taiwan citizens the right to obtain their nationality without renunciation of original citizenship, then the foreigners living in Taiwan, after meeting all relevant, residency, financial, good behavior, etc. requirements, should be accorded the same treatment. (This would involve a revision of Article 9 of Taiwan’s Nationality Law, and some accompanying changes to Taiwan’s Immigration Law would also be appropriate.)

I realize that many Taiwanese persons will say that Taiwan is a small and crowded island. However, the foreigners who are applying for nationality rights in Taiwan are already living and working here. They are contributing, and they are paying taxes. In many cases these foreigners are fluent in Chinese, have an in-depth understanding of local political issues, and also have a well-thought out “international viewpoint.” The benefits to Taiwan for allowing these persons to gain local nationality would be significant.

In terms of “loyalty” issues, I have never heard any Taiwanese official thoroughly explain the reasoning behind the Ministry of the Interior’s claim that — a Taiwanese person who gains a foreign nationality, thus becoming a “dual national” will of course be loyal to Taiwan … but for a foreigner who obtains Taiwan nationality, if allowed to be a dual national, will immediately be faced with “conflicting national loyalties” … hence it is necessary that the foreigner renounce his/her original nationality before becoming a Taiwan citizen.

This line of legal reasoning is illogical. A “dual national” is a dual national. Upon obtaining the status of dual national, it doesn’t really matter which nationality was obtained first.

Another important consideration is that if a foreigner obtains Taiwan nationality, this new status is only really relevant in Taiwan. The fact that the foreigner retains his original nationality has no bearing on his/her rights and obligations under Taiwan law. In other words, the foreigner cannot claim any special privileges just because he/she now has obtained local Taiwan nationality and still retains his/her original foreign nationality. And in fact, a “dual national” foreigner would pay the same income taxes in Taiwan as a “single national” foreigner. As stated above, the foreigners who are applying for nationality rights in Taiwan are already living and working here. They are paying taxes. Even in the countries with the most severely restrictive immigration policies, a foreigner who has legally lived and worked there for seven or eight years is eligible for local nationality, but in Taiwan you have foreigners who have been here for over twenty years and still have to renew their visas every year. If they forget and overstay a few days, they have to pay a fine. If they overstay twice they are blacklisted, or refused a visa to come back to Taiwan. In other countries, these people would already be local citizens with full voting, residency, and work rights.

Continuing on with the point of view that “if a foreigner obtains local Taiwan nationality, this is really only relevant in Taiwan” … Notably, however, the retention of the original foreign nationality is very important in dealing with a large range of legal issues in the foreigner’s home country. These include: inheritance rights, insurance rights, residency rights, visitation rights, retirement funds rights, bank accounts rights, land ownership rights, business ownership rights, etc.

Hence, when overviewed with the above analysis in mind, it is really not hard to see that whether the foreigner retains his/her original nationality when obtaining Taiwan nationality is really none of the Taiwan government’s business. Moreover, how practical is it for a black or white “foreigner” to travel around the world on a “Republic of China” passport? What if some countries’ immigration officials simply laugh, and then make the common sense statement that: “You are obviously not Chinese, so this passporty must be a counterfeit.” What happens then?

I am a Caucasian male. When I go to the local banks here in Taiwan to deal with various tax matters, or overseas remittance of funds, the bank officials always ask me: “Can I see your Taiwan ID please?” When I explain that I have lived here thirty years but still don’t have a Taiwan ID, they are always very surprised. When I further explain that in order to get a Taiwan ID I would have to renounce my original USA citizenship, they always shake their head in disbelief, stating: “You are surely mistaken, Taiwan allows dual nationality!!”

The final point I want to make here, as illustrated by the above story about my visits to the local Taiwan banks, is that the local populace in Taiwan has no problems accepting the fact that a non-Chinese looking person would have a local Taiwan ID, because they assume that if he/she has been working and living here legally for a number of years then of course he/she would have obtained one.

Didn’t Confucius also basically talk about the concept of “global village”? Then why are “foreigners” being excluded from full participation in Taiwan society???

“Serious request” should be accompanied by a “real name”. Is your name CoffeAnnan? What a coincidence as that sounds like the name of the head of the UN.

take care,
Koffee Kennedy
President of the “San Chung Keep Taiwan an Outlaw Island Reform Society”

Another one that gets me is the recent decision to give foreigners driving licences that expire with their ARCs. This has actually been held by the court to be illegal.

Doesn’t the Taiwanese government have more important things to focus its energy on than this ?

It’s a complete and utter waste of time trying to improve what passes for “law” in Taiwan.

Taiwan has no respect for other countries, and no real concept of “nationality”. Go and have a look at the Relations Governing Relations Between People of the Mainland Area and People of the Taiwan Area, have a look at the Nationality Law, the Household Registration Law, and the law relating to the issuing of visas in foreign passports.

A naturalised British citizen born in China will be told by the that he is actually a PRC citizen unless he can prove he has resided outside the PRC for four years and not returned for more than 30 days in any year. This is despite holding a UK passport and having been stripped of PRC nationality under the PRC Nationality Law. The issue has been posted on this board somewhere and I have met the person concerned. Have to say as an ex-immigration advisor in the UK I have never heard anything like it. It’s hilarious. The UK says: you’re a British Citizen; the PRC says: you’re a British Citizen; Taiwan says: you’re a PRC citizen so you can’t have an ARC, but because you’ve got a British passport you can have a tourist visa. Only Taiwan would have so little respect for other nations as to say this. It’s just plain rude. Please note that ROC passport holders in the UK are treated the same way as a large number of other nationalities are in relation to visas. The UK government does not try and tell them “oh you’re actually a citizen of the PRC” because that would be insulting.

Does the Taiwanese government know anything about international law (or care)? Is the way Taiwan is going to court international favour going to be to redefine citizens of major countries in the world as citizens of somewhere else ?

I see people here whose only concept of nationality is to obtain a little blue US passport and live in Taiwan on it. That way they can avoid military service and avail themselves of US consular protection. So they can avoid contributing in the same way a single-nationality Taiwanese person does, but can always pull out the old ROC ID card when they need to do things that foreigners can’t do (get a phone, credit card…). Is it because of this “passport of convenience” attitude to nationality that Taiwan has no real nationality law ? (Can anyone think of another country which issues passports which don’t allow you to live or work anywhere ? ROC Overseas Chinese passports. Useful for…?)

I think the reasoning on this one goes as follows: The government thinks Taiwan is a dump and can’t wait to bugger off somewhere else to live. Therefore the nationality law and immigration and what have you isn’t really important. Of course it’s important to do everything to allow people to make lots of money so they can emigrate, but the people left behind will just have to fend for themselves. And as for foreigners who want to become Taiwanese or live here permanently, or both - they’re just mad so we can ignore them.

One more thing.

Why can’t foreigners get a phone here without a “guarantor” ? Have you any idea how ridiculous that makes Taiwan look ? I mean don’t Taiwanese people have better things to do than invent new ways of making life difficult for foreigners ? I would have though the government, Chunghwa Telecom, whoever would simply have better things to think about…

Dear CoffeeAnnan…Thank you for your concern regarding the sad plight of us “foreigners” here on the island of Taiwan. I would like you to work on the following items.

  1. Can you get them to stop calling us “foreigners”? I find this lessens my personal esteem. How about something nice & cheery…like “Happies!” or maybe…“Welcome Peoples!” I think always including the exclamation mark " ! " is very imporatant.

  2. Can you work on improving the availability of TEVA sandals here? Blue flip-flops tend to blow out when making fast corners. I also have donated all of mine to the John Kerry campaign.

  3. Can you see if we can get some ‘STOP’ signs put up here? Just a thought.

  4. Can you get a better selection of mens deodorant here? I like ‘Old Spice’ deordorant stick - any flavors. Make sure its the ‘DEODORANT’ and NOT the ‘ANTI-Perspirant’ stuff. That stuff clogs my underarm pores.

  5. Will you work on getting the oil-burning motorscooters cleaned up? Air pollution is really bad here.

  6. Can you get a good Jazz & Blues radio station here?

  7. Can you get Taiwan Beer available in 1 liter bottles? It would cut down on the trips to & from the refrigerator and/or 7/11.

  8. Do you like stinky dofu? I don’t.

  9. Sorry about #8. It was not a question. Just curious.

  10. Can you get people to not clutter the sidewalk?

Thank you for your offer of help CoffeeAnnan. When my neighbor burns bai-bai this friday and fills my living room with smoke and soot I will tell her that a woman in Germany is going to come here and kick her ass. And it will be you!

Hold on. You say you are a member of the TSU idiots, yet you complain that you have to do military service in the German army. How’s that? You mean the TSU is allowing foreigners to join the party? Not that it matters, really, since the TSU is about as useful and influential as tits on a bull.
Talking of bovines, I smell bullshit.

[quote=“TainanCowboy”]Dear CoffeeAnnan…Thank you for your concern regarding the sad plight of us “foreigners” here on the island of Taiwan. I would like you to work on the following items.

  1. Can you get a better selection of mens deodorant here? I like ‘Old Spice’ deordorant stick - any flavors. Make sure its the ‘DEODORANT’ and NOT the ‘ANTI-Perspirant’ stuff. That stuff clogs my underarm pores.


YAY, Old Spice deodorant sticks, since coming here, twice friends coming from Canada have replenished my supply, my next shipment is coming Thursday :slight_smile: Old Spice High Endurance Fresh Scent rockz, da other flavours are ok…I am working on getting Old Spice to distribute its products here, but I have not had much success, if anyone wants to takeup this endeavor it would be greatly apprecaited.

You could click on and tell them what you want to say, but noone will listen to you,because they simply don’t know you and will not trust in you.

If you want to change things by the law you need connections. I know the legislators in my party. My partner has no membership in any international organisation. So I help them several times to meet up with parlamentaries in Europe.

If I ask them to do a little favour for me, I think they would help me to speak it loud out at the legislativ Yuan.

[quote=“brianlkennedy”]“Serious request” should be accompanied by a “real name”. Is your name CoffeAnnan? What a coincidence as that sounds like the name of the head of the UN.

Sorry your right. I placed the thread at 12pm.

I’m 24 years old and a strong Taiwan supporter since 2001.My father is Lithuanian-British and my mother an oversea Chinese from Indonesia.

I got involved in Taiwanese policy when Lee Teng-Hui stated that Taiwan is an immigration country. That was in 2002 when he made on his speeches. At this time I was in Japan on an exchange program. I took a fly to Taipei and asked to get full party membership in the TSU. Since 2003 I’m a full party member and meet the legislators each time I’m in Taiwan and sometimes in Europe. I work voluntary for them.

Here’s my wish-list.

(1) As Hartzell says, drop the requirement that foreigners renounce their previous citizenships before applying for Taiwan / ROC citizenship. (And make sure the bureaucracy doesn’t find some other way to block our applications.) Think of Singapore–majority Chinese, but willing to let others into the “in” group for the sake of the economy etc.

(2) Make it so that no foreigner shall be deported without a hearing. As things stand now, any cop can put my ass on the plane–gee, I hope my buxiban isn’t competing with his cousin’s!

(3) Explicity state as a matter of law that all persons–foreign or not–have the rights to freedom of speech and assembly.

(4) Void race- and nationality-based restrictions in education (we can’t be department heads or college presidents), land ownership (can’t buy “farmland”), and…well, what ARE we going to do about the phone companies and banks who refuse to deal with us? There has to be some way to cover that. Heck, even the La-New shoe store bars foreigners from participating in its sporting events which it sponsors. There’s a whole native psychology thing going on here, I think.

(5) Allow foreigners to register births, marriages, whatever using the Roman-alphabet version of their names. (Taiwan aborigines already have this privilege.) English may be the second, or fifth, official language, but nobody told the bureaucrats.

The dual nationality is a very delicate issue.
It is true that most rich Taiwanese have 2,3 nationalities. I know that Lien Chan has an US passport and Ma Ying Jeuo I meet told me that he to Berlin with his UK passport.
But according to the ROC law dual nationalities are not allowed.Taiwan has no immigration law. And Taiwan has no Green Card system.
Last year then I ate together with the Legislativ-Yuan chairman I asked him why is that.
He explained to me that Taiwan was under martial-law for over 40 years.During that time the undemocratic government simply made sure that no ROC citizen may leave Taiwan.Only for particular reasons you may leave Taiwan for a while. Tschiang Kai Shek and later his son were worry their little soldiers could run away the civil war.

Later under Lee Teng-Hui Taiwan had its economic boom. Lee Teng-Hui started a more pragmatic policy and martial-law was lifted. At this time the ROC got first foreign labors coming from other Asian countries. The KMT decided to protect high paid jobs against low coast labors and created very impose conditions to those Thais,Indonesians,Vietnamese and so on.

In fact the KMT (=Chinese Nationalist Party)did everything they can do to support Chinese employees. Lee Teng-Hui could govern Taiwan with full support by the government.

But the KMT still belongs to China. That means Taiwan is just a temporary station before they can return to the mainland China. So the KMT missed any chance to create foreign right law.

Then A-Bian became president in 2000 he still failed the majority in the Parlament. The DPP is a liberal-democratic party which is suppose to deal softer with foreigners living in Taiwan. The last additives in the ROC constitution were made in the early 90s (1994 I think). At this time Lee Teng-Hui never expected that the parliament would oppose decision by the president.

Then Taiwan got into a deep economic cries in 2001. If a party would take a pro foreigner position the people simply would not vote for it. Now the economic is doing better. The president is a liberal one, but the half of the seats in the parliament has legislators from Chinese nationalist parties.

Then I was in the Legislative Yuan building I may not visit floors where the KMT and PFP parties have their offices in. A legislator from the KMT called the security.He said to the guard someone who is non Chinese blood may not enter this building.

Back coming back to your issue. A green card and equal treatment or whites and blacks who have a ROC citizenship. A-Bian touched this issue carefully in his ideas about a new constitution. The constitution is very old and just made for Chinese people. If the parliament elections will end with a KMT+PFP majority I can tell my friends whatever I want, but the coalition of KMT+PFP will reject any new laws which drift away from the national Chinese line.

The legislators from the DPP+TSU are willing to become part of the international community, respecting international law, but the KMT+PFP has an absolute pro Chinese line. To them we are not more but golden donkeys. Ma Ying-Jeuo said very clear at his new year speech :" Come my foreign friends and go shopping here. Taiwan need to improve the economic."

The driving licence. Take the international one and translate it into Chinese by the traffic office. That’s all…

Yeah, I’m not a citizen of the ROC and got full party membership…even equal to Taiwanese people.

The TSU is the newest party in Taiwan. Lee Teng-Hui has really a strong faith in Christian religion. I sent him a letter. ASking him if his party doesn’t want to be the first party with a foreigner. A sign of a new and more tolerant Taiwan.

Later in Taipei they had discuss my issue for 3 months. They changed the rules by the party so that I may be a full member.

By the way…the liberal democratics in German denied my application for a membership, because my parents aren’t Germans. :loco:

most points make sense.

I think why it has not changed yet is because Taiwan is still under civil war.

They are still many politicians in Taiwan who are afraid if they give us the same rights as others, mainland Chinese could advantage of that and start a civil war inside Taiwan. :loco:

On the other hand some are afraid if all foreigners get more rights waves of foreigners from Asian countries will come to Taiwan and Taiwan would have to deal with foreign criminals they cannot chase back to their home country.

The people in my party think if they are no tolerant to foreigners…they cannot expect any tolerance from abroad ,too.

But most of you want is really at the minimum of rights you should get at any place in this world.

I’m preparing to write a fax to my friends in the legislativ Yuan, but its gonna take time. They are busy with the elections in December. I will make myself strong to make this to a compaign issue.

That would drift far away compared to the Blue Pan.Just need to explain to them how important it is for Taiwan’s future.

The TSU changed their membership rules just for you? Am I the only one who smells something awfully similar to bovine excretions?

No German is allowed to have dual nationality, regardless of race. When I was eighteen I got a letter from the German government telling me to pick which nationality I wanted to be German like my father or American like my mother. I never renounced my German citizenship but in order for me to get a German passport I can only be German.
Unlike Taiwan’s racist policy where only Chinese can be duel nationals. Fairly effective too I have never met a foreign “genius” who has given up his or her real nationality to become an ROC national.

IIRC Poagao is one such “genius”.

My little voice is telling me that things don’t add up in this thread. Sorry CoffeAnnan, but “your dog don’t hunt”.

[quote=“CoffeAnnan”]On the other hand some are afraid if all foreigners get more rights waves of foreigners from Asian countries will come to Taiwan and Taiwan would have to deal with foreign criminals they cannot chase back to their home country.

The people in my party think if they are no tolerant to foreigners…they cannot expect any tolerance from abroad ,too.

But most of you want is really at the minimum of rights you should get at any place in this world.[/quote]

Fucki** Taiwanese shit like this makes me irate. Why must “foreigners” constantly be pointed to as a source of problems? Taiwan has ample home-grown criminals and local social problems, but it’s always easier to attack the much smaller non-Taiwanese problem. How the hell can you build a tolerant, understanding society while viewing the world through them-and-us glasses and labelling with “foreigner”? :fume: :wanker: :fume:

Taiwan’s democracy and conceptions of human rights is still very young.

The democracy is still very instable. There are too many factors, but one big problem is that Taiwan cannot let its own history left back.

Taiwan has 4 big parties. They are fighting now for one Taiwanese or Chinese national future.

I think our situation just can improve if liberal parties such as the green pan will be elected.

of course only a minority of foreigners are a problem in Taiwan.

Another big problem in Taiwan is the education system in Taiwan. 55 years of ruling KMT is not over with a new president.

If more foreign politicians would come to Taiwan and show their solidarity in Taiwan’s human rights and demoncracy…people would better listen to them.

At the moment most medias in Taiwan are just sucks. There are newspapers with a blind pro Taiwan position and news with a absolute pro Chinese position.

It will take a long time have a generation of politicians and voters.