Mon, Nov 27, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: What makes a Taiwanese?

By Patrick Cowsill

Like Eric Lien (Letters, Aug. 13, page 8) whose son was threatened with deportation after being born at National Taiwan University Hospital, I am also tired of being referred to as a foreigner here in Taiwan.

I also resent it when newspapers such as the Taipei Times use headlines like "Foreigners have more kids" (Aug. 5, page 3).

According to the writer of the above article, 13,000 children in elementary and high school have non-Taiwanese parents. If an individual has a child in Taiwan and lives here long enough to raise him or her to high school age, why does the Taipei Times consider this person to be non-Taiwanese? Does this paper also categorize these native born and educated children as anything but Taiwanese?

The "us and them" mentality in Taiwan has to go. It's time for the country to wake up. Research tells us that 88 percent of the population has some Aboriginal blood, so we know that there is no pure Han super-race here.

In addition, one in six children born here now has a parent born elsewhere, meaning Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia the Philippines, the US, Canada and so on.

Racist leaders who subject these Taiwan-born children to deportation are a bad fit for the new multiethnic reality which exists in Taiwan. So is a society that is laced with bigotry and discrimination.

Patrick Cowsill

Taipei

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