Taiwanese dreams quashed
I have learned a hard lesson about Taiwanese life and politics, which indicates that this is not the open, progressive, equitable and free nation it claims to be.
It’s pretty crazy they turned this guy down, does not bode well at all.
Well that is kinda sad, but I don’t really think foreign residents would really want the citizenship had some laws and practices been more normal (like the credit card thingy and whatnot). It’s like one of the worst citizenships to hold … with the annoying bs with China.
Still it is unfair and I’m all for making it lenient, like everyone who’s been here long enough can get it (except for those from China). Maybe even form a political party with common sense and knock these morons we have now out of the park.
Seriously though, dude’s been here 17 years and is supposedly involved in life here, and this one development is the thing that tells him it isn’t the wonderful place he thought it was?
Yeah, I thought the letter was kinda pathetic if you ask me. I loved Taiwan from day one – the food, the ladies, the interesting expats, the mountains etc., but I knew there was not a snowballs chance in hell I`d ever be treated as a local or get citizenship without renouncing (and I have similar contributions to this bloke – I think many long term people who live or have lived in Taiwan longer than five years do). The dude seems kinda naive for a long termer
I appreciated the letter and was angered by it. My situation is almost the same as his. Yes, I would very much like Taiwan citizenship. The law holds out the possibility of me receiving “super-foreigner” status–that is to say, I seem to be technically eligible–but the process is subject to the approval of a murky board which seems to have decided not to approve very many of us.
The letter overlooks several non-priests who were recently approved: four professors (three Americans, one French), plus the odd Kyrgyz IT guy. It would be interesting to know more about their qualifications. Hopefully as more applications are made, we will learn more about the composition and prejudices of these approval boards and bureaucracies.
I wish the letter-writer had insisted on an official decision in writing, stating the reasons for rejection. It sounds as though he was discouraged (or prevented) even from formally applying.
It’s the non transparency of the process that makes it a bit of a joke. I’m also looking for an exemption and it’s just a crapshoot as far as I can see.
Its not something small though is it.
Don’t try to downplay it. Citizenship is a very big deal.
So I gather.
When you are waiting for 17 years, looks like you’ve got great credentials and they are promoting this scheme for ‘people like you’, there’s finally a pathway to dual citizenship opened and they still turn you down, that really sucks.
On the bright side, however, he doesn’t have to be a citizen of a nation he deems a closed, regressive, inequitable, enslaved, inflexible, restrictive, intolerant backwater lodged in black, Cold War, autocratic politics that limits freedoms, rights and benefits, a place where, according to him, “the only foreigners who have thus far gained Taiwanese citizenship (about five people) are Catholic priests [and nuns] who have lived here for four or five decades.” Sounds like he really dodged a bullet there.
Before it reaches the board to discuss , it goes through the relevant ministry to recommend or not, that is where the hang up is occurring
I guess there will be relevant law updates in the near future as more and more people try to apply. It doesn’t make sense to leave something as big as citizenship ambiguous
It makes plenty of sense when one understands that they want to appear to allow something but in reality want to deny it. It’s the Taiwanese way.
However ambiguous laws will get challenged in the court sooner or later so I think eventually it will be required to be laid out in plain language
if dudes dream is to be taiwanese he ducking reality just a little dont you think? thats like laowai noob lesson no.1
I see what you did there.
Poagao, mixed feelings are only natural in a situation like this. Perhaps you too have experienced similar feelings of anger and frustration at some point, just as I do. It helps to think of citizenship issues less in terms of sentiment (scorned love, perhaps?) than in terms of practicalities.
The biggest victims of injustice are not going to be people like me, but the hundreds of thousands of not-so-“super” foreigners (in the eyes of Taiwan’s government), mostly SE Asians, whose rights and livelihoods are far less secure than mine. Closer to my societal category, Jenna Cody wrote an essay on her Laorencha blog a few months ago about what it felt like to be effectively told she was not wanted or valued enough to be allowed (dual) citizenship. So the “super-foreigner” category has the effect of dividing us against each other. (In the future I suspect it will be used mainly to attract athletes.)
The government’s objection is not so much about all these people living here–we’re already here–but on too many of us having rights. Think about what this means for the direction of Taiwan society, and whether it will ever evolve to the level where we don’t have to read stories about honest-to-god slaves being discovered on a fishing boat, or wherever.
A good point about the treatment of ES Asian workers here, though renunciation doesn’t play as big a role in their case as most of them feel that it’s worth it; the problems lie with the corrupt migrant work system. I also I agree with you that this “super-foreigner” category seems suspiciously non-transparent and most likely rife with less-than-fair, uninformed decisions. Are red envelopes needed, perhaps? Who knows?
In any case, I’m afraid that Jenna is not exactly my biggest fan. And I made my choice a lifetime ago; it’s probably best if I stay out of these conversations.
Just curious. If you had the chance for a do-over, would you possibly do things differently? In other words, have you experienced any long-delayed buyer’s remorse? I think your perspective would be valuable for anybody who is considering giving up their original citizenship.
I would do many things differently, but that would not be one of them.