How much 'love' for Taiwan must one have to be a citizen?
The China Post staff
July 14, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) announced on July 2 that the main obstacle to the naturalization of foreigners could soon be removed, hinting at possible talks with legislators from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) to push through an amendment to the Nationality Act (國籍法) within six months. This could be great news for the thousands of foreigners who have already settled in Taiwan and want to apply for Republic of China citizenship, even if we are worried that conditional love could further yield conditional results.
Under the current rules, foreign nationals retiring from government bodies, colleges and universities, or other public academic institutions have their pensions paid in a lump sums rather than in monthly installments. Thanks to the new amendment, these foreign nationals could obtain the same benefits as their Taiwanese counterparts without having to give up their nationality in the first place. That is good news. We are for sure thrilled with the idea of foreigners being granted Republic of China nationality without preconditions, yet we are equally concerned by the idea of having a designated commission in charge of recognizing the "contribution" each foreign national has made to Taiwan before his or her request is granted. After all, the answer could be trivial for a brilliant academic, scientist, businessman, artist or athlete, but what about office and factory workers, housewives and underage children? How is the government going to evaluate each foreigner's contribution to Taiwan's arts, culture or economy? How much "love" for Taiwan is needed to become a citizen? Nobody knows.