"Stateless" descendants of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) troops stationed in northern Myanmar and Thailand yesterday pleaded with the government to naturalize them.
Tens of thousands of KMT troops retreated across the Chinese border and stationed themselves in northern Myanmar and Thailand following the defeat of Chiang Kai-shek's (蔣介石) Nationalist forces by the Communists in the Chinese Civil War.
As the push to retake China never took place, many of the soldiers and their families were stranded in the region.
Since these people entered Myanmar and Thailand illegally, they are not recognized by the two countries. Their descendants have thus been denied citizenship, although many of them were born and raised in these countries.
Some of these stateless people faced a new challenge after coming to Taiwan to attend college.
Chen Chai-yi (
"I passed the college entrance exam held by Taiwan's Overseas Compatriot Affairs Commission [OCAC] and was accepted by a university in Taiwan in 2003," Chen said.
However, since she had no citizenship from either country, Chen purchased a forged Burmese passport to travel with, she said.
It was only once Chen arrived in the country that she discovered she would be required to prove her status before receiving Taiwanese citizenship.
"I wasn't aware of this and the OCAC didn't tell me when I took the exam [in Myanmar]," Chen said.
"I cannot return to Myanmar because I will be imprisoned for life for holding a forged passport, but my stay in Taiwan will also become illegal once I graduate from college," Chen said. "I'm basically stuck."
Liu Hsiao-hua (劉小華), chief executive of the Thai-Myanmar Region Chinese Offspring Refugee Service Association, estimated that more than 1,000 students from the region are in a similar situation.
Lee Lin-feng (
"What has blocked these people from obtaining Taiwanese citizenship is that neither they nor the Ministry of National Defense have any proof that they are descendants of former soldiers," Lee said. "Even when some had proof, they were unable to submit a certificate renouncing their original nationality."
Lee said she would seek a solution at the next Ministry of the Interior meeting, "considering the special circumstances."
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
DECADES OF INFLUENCE: Over the past 20 years, China has made inroads with Aborigines, funding political campaigns and trips, a legislator said Lawmakers have called on the National Security Bureau to investigate claims of pervasive Chinese influence among Aboriginal communities. Legislators pointed to a surge in communist propaganda and Chinese-funded projects over the past few years, which they say are aimed at infiltrating and buying political influence among Aboriginal communities. “China has for decades carried out wide-ranging ‘united front’ tactics and propaganda campaigns targeting Aborigines,” said Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩), a member of the Puyuma community in Taitung County. “Now, they are influencing elections for local councilors and village chiefs, offering money for candidates to mount their campaigns, and to
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last
Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) early yesterday morning set off on his third one-day cycling trip from Taipei to Kaohsiung, but had to cut the journey short after arriving in Changhua about three hours behind schedule. Ko finished his first 520km “twin-tower” cycling trip from the nation’s northernmost Fuguijiao Lighthouse (富貴角燈塔) in Keelung to the southernmost Oluanpi Lighthouse (鵝鑾鼻燈塔) in Pingtung County on Feb. 28, 2016. On his second run, on Feb. 28, 2019, Ko only rode from Taipei to Hsinchu, returned to Taipei for a ceremony, and later continued the trip from Tainan. The Taipei Department of Sports said that the city