Taiwan, my unrequited love / 台灣,我的單戀阿!

請往下滑動參閱中文版。

Today is my Taiwaniversary.

28 years ago, on January 17th, 1989, I came to Taiwan. After all these years, I can honestly say Taiwan is my home. I love Taiwan. I love the people of Taiwan. In my heart, I think of myself as much Taiwanese as I am Canadian, and I’m so proud of what Taiwan has achieved for itself. But my love for Taiwan is not reciprocated. Despite marrying a Taiwanese citizen (and subsequently giving Taiwan two more citizens with the birth of my daughters), despite living here for 28 years as a productive, law-abiding, tax-paying resident, Taiwan still treats me as a guest. (A long term guest, to be sure, but still a guest.)

Right now, the only path to citizenship available to me requires me to renounce my Canadian citizenship, only then becoming eligible to apply for Taiwanese citizenship. This is very unfair, and it’s offensive to me. My own country welcomes Taiwanese to become Canadians without requiring them to give up their own citizenship. So do many other countries, including the US, England, Australia, and New Zealand, to name a few. In fact, Taiwan is the ONLY country in the world that allows dual citizenship for her own citizens but not for others. Given Taiwan’s unique need for international support and recognition, one would think that making simple changes to address these unfair policies would be a top priority.

It’s time for a change. It’s time for Taiwan to do the right thing.

二十八年前的今天(一九八九年一月十七日),是我離開加拿大到達台灣的第一天。經過了這麼多年,我想我已經夠資格說「台灣就是我的家」。我愛台灣、我愛台灣人民,在我的心裡,我覺得自己加拿大人也是台灣人,我也對多年來見證到的台灣成就感到驕傲。但是我對台灣的愛與台灣對我(一名外國人)卻不是一個平等的關係。

儘管我娶了台灣太太(以及生了兩個小台灣人),就算我在這裡生活的二十八年中總是以做為一個有貢獻、守法、納稅的好人民為目標,台灣當局仍是把我當過客看待(一位長期居住的外來客,一位永遠的客人)。

目前,如果我想成為台灣公民,唯一的方法就是我必須放棄我的原生加拿大國籍,才符合申請台灣國籍的資格。這個法令非常的不公平而且不合理,也讓我感到很受傷。我的國家—加拿大,歡迎台灣人移民並取得加拿大國籍,而且不要求台灣人放棄自己的原生國籍。其實,世界上大多數國家(美國、英國、澳洲、紐西蘭等…)都不會要求移民者必須放棄原生國籍。事實上,台灣是目前世界上唯一對國籍法有雙重標準的國家,台灣當局允許台灣人可以擁有雙重/三重國籍,但是來自其他國家的移民者卻不行。

基於台灣在國際中的特殊地位,目前其實需要國際間的支持及認可,對這些不平等的政策進行簡單的修正,應該是一個列入優先的事項。二○一七年的台灣,也該是時候改變/修正了,請做出正確的決定!