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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." 

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