Sat, May 29, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Pop singer gives up US citizenship

STAFF WRITER

Luo Da-you (羅大佑), a pop singer well known for his political commentary, yesterday formally relinquished his US citizenship to protest the introduction to the US House of Representatives last week of a resolution regarding the deployment of Taiwanese marines to Iraq.

"This is not a rash decision made in the heat of the moment. This is a personal decision that I have made as a musician whose profession is to freely compose music," Luo said, warning others not to follow suit.

Luo arrived at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday morning and spent more than an hour completing the procedure to give up his US citizenship. The application now awaits approval from the US Department of State.

Reading from a statement, Luo said that he was grateful that his US passport had allowed him to freely travel the world.

"However, when US representatives introduced a resolution requesting that Taiwan send marines to Iraq, I realized that while the US often stresses peaceful negotiations across the Taiwan Strait, the US government is the third party that stands in the way of truly peaceful negotiation," Luo said.

Two Republican representatives introduced a resolution to the US House last week asking President George W. Bush to request that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) deploy thousands of marines to Iraq.

However, Luo's act of protest comes after US Department of State spokesman Richard Boucher called the issue a "moot point" given that Taiwan has not offered, nor has the US asked for, a military contribution.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) has also called the deployment of Taiwanese troops "almost impossible."

"In life you often have to make choices, and I choose to give up my US passport," Luo said, adding that he would apply for a visa if he ever wanted to visit the US and that he would be composing a song about the mixed emotions he felt in deciding to relinquish his US citizenship.

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