Life Takes Visa

How Many Apologies?

By now, we are tired of hearing the former KMT Legislator’s apology for holding dual citizenship and having failed to withdrawing her US citizenship.  If you google, “Legislator Lee Ching apologizes for citizenship,” it shows a whopping no. of 30,700 results.

(Photo, courtesy of TAIPEI TIMES, by Chu Pei-Hsiung)  Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee dismisses a story published in Next Magazine during a news conference in Taipei Wednesday, March 12, 2008.

(Photo, courtesy of TAIPEI TIMES, by Chu Pei-Hsiung) Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Diane Lee dismisses a story published in Next Magazine during a news conference in Taipei Wednesday, March 12, 2008.

What is delaying or holding up the process?  Lee insists that the complications is really a simple issue of waiting on a retroactive ruling by U.S. authorities on her status (acquiring public office was an expatriating act which should follow by nullifying her U.S. citizenship).

Taiwan’s Nationality Law denies government officials from holding dual citizenship, however there are no known regulations against obtaining foreign residency cards.  One must surrender, their foreign citizenship, upon taking office.

Article 4 of the Civil Service Employment Act (公務人員任用法) explains that the need for government agencies to comply in reviewing applicants’ character and loyalty prior to recruitment, and allows the employers the advantage of seeking assistance from the Investigation Bureau to confirm one’s loyalty “if necessary.”

The Executive Yuan even stated in August of 2003, “Special regulations for investigating public officials involved in matters of national security or other important matters of national interest” (涉及國家安全或重大利益公務人員特殊查核辦法).  What this signify, in simpler terms is: National Secuirty allow government chiefs to authorize, through the bureau, in investigating the loyalty of public officials whose positions involves “national security or major national interests” prior to swearing in.

The investigation includes, but is not limited to the prospective’s relations with China, their direct relatives’ past political affiliation with other countries: whether they are entitled to citizenship application, hold foreign residency, or dual citizenship.

Many have protested against the Civil Service Employment Act, aruging that the possession of foreign permanent resident cards or citizen, should not be held solely upon judging one’s loyalty.

Iris Ho (何燕青), a media worker for the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), takes a view: the crux of the matter is whether these officials are devoted to Taiwan.

“If any foreign talent were to refuse to renounce his or her foreign nationality or residency to serve Taiwan, I would say he or she does not have enough passion for Taiwan and Taiwanese people deserve better than that,” she said.

Just Like Gold:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) formally announced Tuesday, February 10, welcoming United Kingdom (UK) government’s decision to include Taiwan in its visa-waiver program, effective this March 3, 2009. The UK Office in Taiwan announces that with a Taiwan passport entry, one may hold a duration of stay up to six months for business, study or tourism.

(Photo, courtesy of taiwannews)  UK Visa Application Centre announced on July 19, 2007 that visa applicants should make fingerprints and take digital photo at the Centre. (file photo) British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan announced on Feb. 10 that Taiwan passport holders can enjoy six-month visa-free privilege beginning March 3, 2009.

(Photo, courtesy of taiwannews) UK Visa Application Centre announced on July 19, 2007 that visa applicants should make fingerprints and take digital photo at the Centre. British Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan announced on February 10 that Taiwan passport holders can enjoy six-month visa-free privilege beginning March 3, 2009.

Deputy Foreign Minister David Lin explains that the U.K. is officially, the first Western powerhouse to lift visa requirements for the Taiwanese citizens.  Lin continues in expressing the hope of Taiwanese that the recent decision in a visa-free entry, will influence other European Union (EU) countries, the United States and Canada to hopefully follow in their footsteps in our visible future, and how it would not only benefit tourism, but beat the downturn of global economy.

Statics reveal over 40,000 Taiwanese visited the U.K. in 2008.  In light of recent events, travelling visa-free, Taiwan will save up to NT$300 million (US$8.83 million) in visa fees alone. Taiwan currently allows 30-day visa-free entry for British nationals on the island, however the BOCA is currently in the process of following with equal visa-free entries in light of the their decision.

MOFA reports there is a sum of 31 countries worldwide (such as: Japan, South Korea and Singapore, to name a few) that follow the visa-free entry for Taiwanese passport holders.  In 2007, the British government, in turn, have become Taiwan’s third largest trading partner in Europe, and holding place as the 17th largest on an international scale.

The Bigger Picture:

The top European Union (EU) representative in Taiwan compliments Taiwan’s “e-Passports”and in broadening visa exemptions for a number of EU citizens, openning doors to an opportunity for them [EU] to discuss on following a reciprocal (visa-free) offer for Taiwan.

(Photo, courtesy of TAIPEI TIMES, by Chien Rong-Feng)  Guy Ledoux, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan.

(Photo, courtesy of TAIPEI TIMES, by Chien Rong-Feng) Guy Ledoux, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan, speaks in an interview with the Taipei Times publication.

Meet Guy Ledoux: the representative and head of the Taipei-based European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) who as well serves as the de facto EU ambassador in Taiwan during the absence of formal diplomatic relations.

Leudox spoke with the Central News Agency (CNA) on Monday, February 8, expressing on behalf of the EU in applauding Taiwan’s efforts ( from 2008 ) in eliminating what was a mandatory visa requirements for EU citizens.  Advantages in having issued electronic passports, eases tension among travellers with the sense of secuirt: even upon theft, the e-passports are difficult, even then, to forge.

“These two steps will certainly help put in place an appropriate background to launch a discussion on this issue in Europe, ”Ledoux said.

>>>Ledoux have as well recently complimented on Taiwan’s use of the voucher program, in a China Post article, here.  <<<

Today, 23 of 27 EU-member countries are listed in Taiwan’s visa -waiver program, with Slovenia scheduled next to be included Sunday, February 15.

Celebrating Visa-Style:

Wetland Attractions: Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) says that people are enjoying the coming of Spring, visiting the 43, various man-made wetlands of Taiwan.

The Chiku Wetlands, one of the 43 listed wetland attractions in Taiwan.

The Chiku Wetlands, one of the 43 listed wetland attractions in Taiwan.

“Before the country’s sewage system is complete, artificial wetlands and treatment plants are transitional methods to clean up wastewater before it flows into rivers,” said Shieh Ping-Fei (謝炳輝), senior office in EPA’s Department of water quality protection.

Still accepted as a new tourist-attraction, the wetlands started from 2002, when EPA invested the grand total of NT$660 million (US$17.7 million) in the project, which “process a total of 230,000 tonnes of wastewater a day, all of which is domestic,” Shieh said.

International Women’s Club of Dublin Charity Drive: Taiwan’s diplomatic corps enjoyed the Charity, assisting in donations for the musical healing of physically and mentally challenged children in a rehabilitation hospital of Dun Laoghaire, a seaport town in suburban Dublin.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA)  Taiwan takes part in fundraising activities.

(Photo, courtesy of CNA) Taiwan takes part in fundraising activities.

Taiwan delegation, led by Taiwan’s representative in Ireland Lee Nan-Yang, was among 20 nations taking part in the event, featured an array of historic collections ranging from earthenware vases and cups, duplicates of Tang Dynasty tricolor glazed pottery horses, and like reproductions of works.  The donation in thanks to Taipei’s National Palace Museum, one of the most-visited booths, having raised a significant amount for the charity, is sure to bring tourism, business and exchange students to Taiwan.

Nathaly Leers, president of the International Women’s Club of Dublin, voiced with Lee, her gratitude in the participation and display of various arrangements.  In the past, Taipei Representative Office has as involved themselves in similar functions in Ireland, such as one in support a suicide prevention campaign in 2008.

2009 World Games: Kaohsiung City Mayor, Chen Chu, urged Premier, Liu Chao-Shiuan and his Cabinet, as if in a race for time, to continue in the project.  The southern industrial port will hold a “successful and safe” World Games 2009, which will boost national tourism, Taiwanese pride and culture.

June 14, 2005, former Koahsiung Mayor, Frank Hsieh and IWGA President, Ron Froehlich celebrate upong signing the contract on the decision of the World Games 2009.

June 14, 2005, former Koahsiung Mayor, Frank Hsieh and IWGA President, Ron Froehlich celebrate upong signing the contract on the decision of the World Games 2009.

In a meeting with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in the Lientan Conference Centre, the Mayor was proud to announce that the event is the first in a century’s history for Taiwan.  To host such a major international-based sports competition ranging from participating athletes from over 90 countries, is a bold move in looking from the global stance.

Gratitude is all due to DPP’s Frank Hsieh, during his mayoral term from December 1998 to January 2005 in Kaohsiung City.

Chen explains that President Ma Ying-Jeou is invited to the opening ceremony this Summer in July 16, 2009, which International World Games Association (IWGA) chairperson, Mayor of the host city and a International Olympic Committee (IOC) representative – will be addressing in the celebration at the opening ceremony.

(Photo, courtesy of China Post, by Michelle Hsu)  KOC Managing Director Shyh-Fang Liu regards The World Games 2009 a precious opportunity for us to promote Kaohsiung’s international image. Behind her are the lovely pair of emblems for The World Games 2009—Gao Mei and Syong Ge.

(Photo, courtesy of China Post, by Michelle Hsu) KOC Managing Director Shyh-Fang Liu regards The World Games 2009 a precious opportunity for us to promote Kaohsiung’s international image. Behind her are the lovely pair of emblems for The World Games 2009—Gao Mei and Syong Ge.

Advertisements

~ by Lan on 2008 ThuUTC2009-02-12T15:28:05+00:00. 15.

One Response to “Life Takes Visa”

  1. […] Lan Share and Enjoy: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: