Sun, Aug 13, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letters: So who is a `foreigner'?

In response your editorial ("Lie back and think of Taiwan, baby,"Aug. 5, page 8), the time has come for the Chinese on Taiwan to stop referring to all minorities as foreigners.

Such comments are insulting and degrading to an ever increasing number of multi-cultural families.

When Republic of China government officials and even well respected English language newspapers like the Taipei Times, refer to my new Taiwanese children as foreigners, they are insulting my family and their own who migrated to Taiwan many years before.

We are not foreigners anymore. We live here, raise our families and make significant contributions to Taiwan in much same way as previous immigrants have done.

I personally find it insulting when my children or I are referred to as "foreigners" because we are no more foreign than any of the Taiwanese whose families emigrated from China.

When my oldest son was born to a Taiwanese mother at Taiwan National University Hospital, he was subject to deportation because he was a foreigner who had entered the country illegally through birth. To add further insult to injury my legal name can not be put on my own children's birth certificate because it is not "traditional Chinese."

Indeed many aboriginal clans of Taiwan can no longer bare the same name because their family name is not recognized by the Republic of China, in effect making foreigners the only people with the right to call themselves true Taiwanese.

As the world becomes more interconnected and dependent the Chinese government of Taiwan continues to go to great lengths to further its own isolation through racism and bigotry.

We are the New Taiwanese and the fact that so many of us choose not to accept citizenship of the Republic of China does not make us foreigners, it just means we are not Chinese and choose not to live the lie of the Republic of China's Taiwan.

Eric Lier

Taichung

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