Skip to main content

Taiwanese Students In Norway Demand That Oslo Remove Chinese Nationality From Their Visas

My Name My Right crowdfunding page, via Facebook 

A group of Taiwanese exchange students in Norway have sued the Norwegian government, demanding that the nationality on their visas be changed from "China" to "Taiwan". 

After Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2010, Beijing-Oslo relations froze. In 2016 the two sides normalized ties, but Norway had to pledge to adhere to the Communist regime's "one-China policy". 

China views Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to bring about "reunification" by force if all peaceful options are exhausted.   

Taiwanese exchange students in Norway are protesting the fact that on Norwegian visas their nationality is listed as "China" and not as "Taiwan". 

Beijing often uses its diplomatic and economic influence to promote its "one-China" principle. For instance, it recently forced airlines to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites, threatening to punish them if they failed to comply. 

The Taiwanese students urged Norwegian authorities to correct the name of their nationality. In March 2017 they filed a complaint with Norway's immigration authority, asking that the name "China" be removed from their documents and replaced with "Taiwan". 


The students argue that Norway's disregard for Taiwanese people's identity violates the Norwegian Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

However, the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) has rejected the students' demands. Mats Risbakken, a member of UDI's appeals board, was quoted as saying that being registered as Chinese "does not affect the rights and duties" of Taiwanese people in Norway. 

The students decided to file a lawsuit against the Norwegian government. But because they were unable to afford the high litigation costs, they set up a crowdfunding page called My Name, My Right. As of August 8, their campaign has received TW$1,074,552 in donations, 87% of their TW$1,224,760 goal. 

If they should not prevail in Norwegian courts, the Taiwanese student group has vowed to resort to the European Court of Human Rights. They claim that regardless of whether they succeed or not, their action will raise awareness of the "difference between Taiwan and China on the international stage." 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Living in Taiwan: Seven Reasons Why It's Good to Be Here

Chinese New Year can be a pretty boring time for a foreigner. All of my friends were celebrating with their families, and since I have no family here, nor have I a girlfriend whose family I could join, I had nothing special to do. Shops and cafes were closed - apart from big chains like McDonald's or Starbucks, which were overcrowded anyway. So I had a lot of time to think.
On Saturday evening I went out to buy my dinner. While I was walking around, I heard the voices of the people inside their homes, the sounds of their New Year celebrations. Then I suddenly asked myself: "What on earth are you doing here? Why are you still in Taiwan?" 
Before I came to Taiwan, some Taiwanese friends of mine had recommended me their country, highly prasing it and going so far as to say that Taiwan is a "paradise for foreigners" (bear in mind that when I say foreigners I mean 'Westerners'). 
"It's easy for foreigners to find a job," they argued. "Taiwane…

Rumours About Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing's Arrest Spread Online

Rumours about the arrest of Chinese model and actress Fan Bingbing on charges of tax evasion have spread on Chinese media.
As Apple Daily reports, celebrity Fan Bingbing and her younger brother Fan Chengcheng have allegedly been detained for taking part in a tax evasion scheme alongside her manager, Mu Xiaoguang.
Mu has also allegedly been charged with destroying incriminating evidence.

On May 28 TV anchor Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a contract that showed Fan Bingbing being paid $1.56 million (RMB10 million) for four days’ work on director Feng Xiaogang's film “Cell Phone 2.” 

Later Cui released another contract worth $7.8 million (RMB50 million) for the same work. He alleged that Fan had declared to tax authorities only the first contract, thus avoiding to pay taxes on the second, larger amount. 

Double-contracts for the purpose of tax evasion are known in China as "yin-yang contracts". 

Although the Chinese government censored Cui's posts, in early June China's t…

7 Reasons Why Hong Kong Is A Great Place To Live

In 2013 I wrote a post about 7 reasons why it's good to live in Taiwan based on my one-year experience in the country. Now I would like to talk about another place which I love, and which I have perhaps loved more than any other: Hong Kong.
When I was growing up in a small town in Southern Italy, I knew very little about Hong Kong. As a child I remember watching the handover ceremony in 1997, yet at that time I did not really understand much about what was going on. That is my first, vague memory of Hong Kong.
Years later, when I was in my early twenties, I watched a short documentary about Hong Kong on Italian television. I was captivated by the energy and modernity of that exotic metropolis. I thought that some day I would like to visit it. However, it was not on my list of priorities. I wanted to go to Japan, mainland China, South Korea, far more than I wished to go to Hong Kong.
In late 2011 I decided to go to Taiwan because of a girl I had met in Germany. While I was there, …