What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

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What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby bumclouds » 04 May 2012, 00:40

I've seen the term bandied about all over the "Dual Nationality" forum. I understand there's some sort of commission set up to research people's claims to Chinese ancestry and that you can get some sort of ID or certificate.

How far back can people's claims to Chinese ancestry go? What benefits does one get after becoming a certified "Overseas Chinese"?

It does seem a bit discriminatory at first glance.
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby tommy525 » 04 May 2012, 01:29

FAIK, its plain racist. The ROC govt gave some benefits to those with Chinese ethnicity so they could come to Taiwan and live and work , etc. I think they are much tougher on them now tho.
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Zla'od » 04 May 2012, 06:12

It used to be that you could get a passport that way. No longer. In fact it might not matter anymore for any practical purpose.

I would like to apply for a certificate of Chinese ethnicity on the basis that I meet the legal qualfications established in 19th-century Taiwan: (a) I have a Chinese name, and (b) I pay taxes. Would anybody like to help me apply? (My wife won't.) I'd really rather be Taiwanese, but at least this way I can deconstruct their hegemonic ethnic categories from within! Mwahahaha!

(Hope they don't get mad enough to grant the Overseas part...)
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby finley » 04 May 2012, 09:27

I know someone just got permanent residency here on the basis of being "overseas Chinese". It is, as tommy just said, just some bizarre racist law that greases the wheels if you have ethnic Chinese ancestry, and I frankly don't understand how it works. Curiously, it most certainly DOES NOT apply to mainland Chinese.
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Icon » 04 May 2012, 09:55

bumclouds wrote:I've seen the term bandied about all over the "Dual Nationality" forum. I understand there's some sort of commission set up to research people's claims to Chinese ancestry and that you can get some sort of ID or certificate.

How far back can people's claims to Chinese ancestry go? What benefits does one get after becoming a certified "Overseas Chinese"?

It does seem a bit discriminatory at first glance.


Six generations tops. You get preferential entrance to universities, special immersion classes, and get away with double nationality limitations.
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Chris » 04 May 2012, 10:18

Go back some 65,000 years, and we're all related, even to the most isolated Khoi-San, New Guinean, or Amazonian tribespeople.

Can I claim citizenship of the world?
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Steviebike » 04 May 2012, 10:22

I always wanted to be a citizen of the world, rather than hold a passport to one country. A more peaceful way, perhaps? What a dreamer I am!
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Icon » 04 May 2012, 10:35

Chris wrote:Go back some 65,000 years, and we're all related, even to the most isolated Khoi-San, New Guinean, or Amazonian tribespeople.

Can I claim citizenship of the world?


After a crisis many thousand years ago, there were only 5000 humans left. We all come from that stock.
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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby Feiren » 04 May 2012, 10:40

It has to do mainly with the historical situation in Southeast Asia. The many Chinese immigrants in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam etc saw themselves as Chinese (or Cantonese) and were excluded from full citizenship or rights. These communities also played a very important role in the establishment of the Republic of China. For these reasons, they were granted passports. Post 1949, they were pawns in the struggle for legitimacy between Beijing and Taipei. Taipei cultivated ties with passports, scholarships etc.

So yes, it is racist, but there other political and historical factors at work.

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Re: What is this 'Overseas Chinese" thing all about?

Postby riceworm » 04 May 2012, 10:53

An Overseas Chinese, according to Taiwan's official definition, is usually a Taiwanese citizen who has lived abroad for 4 years and has residential status in a foreign country.

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