Friday, November 13, 2009


Taiwan What's Up, which is trying to become an info source for foreigners in Taiwan, sent around a survey about local web portals, which Forumosa then disseminated to the wider expat community (it's originally from the RDEC). The survey is weirdly designed as it is, but Feiren alerted me to a marker of the underlying racialist construction of ROC identity in question 26. Among the choices for defining yourself, you can be a Foreigner with ROC Nationality.

UPDATED: Decided to change it to RDEC to better reflect the origin of it
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Anonymous said...

Ah! The Ethnic Foreigner

Anonymous said...

Is it possible they were thinking of dual citizens? (for example Taiwanese Americans who still have ROC citizenship) Maybe you should ask the English editor...
Whatever, the questionnaire design and web page design is horrible. I'm not sure how it's supposed to be useful to foreigners.

Tom Carroll said...

If there was a breakdown of which country was your original nationality under that box it would actually make sense, just as if there was a choice of the type of visa - student, work, etc to lead to a more valid and worthwhile survey. Kind of working with blinders on. But as my wife, who obtained US citizenship while working in the US always says, "After 20 years in the US I was still a foreigner because of my face."

Anonymous said...

I think "foreigners with ROC nationality" would apply only to people who have the ROC nationality first before obtaining another foreign nationality by naturalization and that foreign country allows such dual citizenship.

It would not be possible for a foreigner to obtain a ROC citizenship while keeping his or her original foreign citizenship, unless there are some tricks to get it that I don't know about?

Anonymous said...

Oh please no. They need to hire a good web development team, not do ridiculous surveys like this.

Anonymous said...

Just to add to my earlier comments left:
...and carries a foreign passport for travelling and ID purpose. In other words, a dual citizen who does not carry a ROC passport but carry a foreign passport for travelling and ID purpose in Taiwan would fall into this category.

Philip L said...

At least it uses the word "foreigner" and not "alien". Whenever I'm an "alien" in any country (that uses the word) I feel I'm from Mars (and my wife is from Venus).

Red A said...

I once was asked by a 10 year old here, "Are you an American or a Foreigner?"

I took a second and answered "Both" which sort of gave him pause.

Not sure how he thought Americans were not foreigners.

Thomas said...

Anon, you are reading too deeply into this. The selection is, by nature, a contradiction, whether one is carrying an ROC passport or not. If you are an ROC citizen you cannot be a foreigner.

Anonymous said...

Interestingly we are all foreigners almost everywhere on the globe, right?

Anonymous said...

Well, the clearest way to phrase such a question would be:

Are you a naturalized citizen of
the ROC?

Are you a ROC citizen that holds dual citizenship?



Jonathan Benda said...

I believe the term that they're looking for is "naturalized citizen"--at least that's what "foreigners" with US nationality are called in the US.

Dan tdaxp said...

Anyone born in the United States is a citizen of the United States, regardless of any action they take. This is intentional: when the 14th Amendment was written, it was well known that if there was any out clause, the southern states would have "encouraged" blacks to exercise it as quickly as possible, to remove their political power.

I assume other countries have similar laws and traditions.l

Therefore, there may well be many foreigners with ROC nationality.

Stefan said...

For those wondering how you might obtain ROC citizenship while keeping your original citizenship, too: My daughter has done that - she is born to a Taiwanese and a German citizen, so she has citizenship for both countries.

My personal favourite is question #11 - they list all the things they already know are wrong with their website, then let you vote for the ones you like least... You can only select three, so if you are not happy about "article categories", "Article length" and "Amount of information", then you have no right to complain about the layout, too.

Readin said...

But as my wife, who obtained US citizenship while working in the US always says, "After 20 years in the US I was still a foreigner because of my face."

If she obtained citizenship while working, this suggests to me that the moved to the U.S. as a teenager or adult - in which case people more likely considered her a foreigner because of her upbringing and accent.

Her face may have mattered depending on when we're talking about and where we're talking about. But today in large chunks of the U.S. the face isn't anywhere near as important as the behavior and accent.

Anonymous said...

My daughter has done that - she is born to a Taiwanese and a German citizen, so she has citizenship for both countries---

nope. she has no citizenship. her citizenship starts with her became adult and deciding about her Pass.

Stefan said...

Sorry anon, but you are confused about that. Citizenship is obtained at birth, passports can be obtained as soon as you go to the passport office or consulate. It is of course possible that she may have to give up one of her citizenships once she becomes an adult, but that's another issue. (Current rules for Germany are, that she needs to make the choice between age 18 and 23.)

Durch Geburt wird ein Kind Deutscher, wenn mindestens ein Elternteil zu dieser Zeit Deutscher ist. (= A child becomes German, if at least one parent was German at the time the child was born.)

My daugher had both Taiwanese and German passports before she was a month old.