What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby cranky laowai » 14 Jan 2011, 22:25

TheAmericanNomad wrote:What kind of rights are afforded to Taiwanese expats?

I understand its a "free" country, but I am wondering how that applies to non citizens, could expats for an example, participate in political protests? What about organizing political protests?

Do rights increase the more "permanent" an expat is? Like if you get a PRAC or get married or whatever?


Generally speaking, rights of protest of foreigners are more a matter of what the authorities allow rather than constitutional guarantees backed by years of clear, favorable precedent and sympathy from the courts and society at large.

Again generally speaking, participating s in a legal, nonviolent protest or demonstration is unlikely to bring you trouble. (I've been in more than a few. No one batted an eye.) Organizing one would be another matter -- with the consequences probably dependent upon a number of factors, including (1) how many influential Taiwanese showed up for your side, (2) who or what you're protesting against. For example, if you organize something calling on China to use traditional Chinese characters you might make some friends. But if you as a newbie wanted to, say, organize a protest against exploitation of blue-collar foreigners in Taiwan, you probably wouldn't have a long tenure on the island.

Remember, purposes of residency are specific. If you're here on a work-related ARC, as far as the authorities are concerned that doesn't mean you're authorized to stir up shit.

And getting on stage during a political campaign rally and speaking in favor of a candidate would probably get you deported.

But, really, you'd be better off if you simply wait until you've been here long enough to know what's what.
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby Icon » 14 Jan 2011, 22:39

BigJohn wrote:There was nothing wrong with his post, just people being dicks on forumosa, as usual. I'd say they should let off some steam at an appropriate target - a delinquent bus driver for example - rather than the innocent OP.


On that we agree to disagree: to me, he gave the impression of either fishing for the answer he wanted or stirring the pot so to promote his cause. He came not innocently but with an agenda.

Different, very different from your case.

Zyzzx: yep, I am almost sure he edited, he left a space. Not in his first post. But I leave that stuff to the mods.

To the OP: It is your choice to do good or not, to participate as much as you want. But be aware that ther eis also a lot of damage that you can do, which lingers way after you leave, so please tread carefully.
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby hipster dufus » 14 Jan 2011, 23:10

BigJohn wrote:There was nothing wrong with his post, just people being dicks on forumosa, as usual..........


Agreed!
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Re: What kind of rights for Taiwanese expats?

Postby hipster dufus » 14 Jan 2011, 23:22

the chief wrote:
Stupid fuckin Yanks.


Image
OH REALLY, CUZ I GOT THIS OUTFIT FROM YO MOMMA!
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby BigJohn » 15 Jan 2011, 01:23

tomthorne wrote:Saaaaaavvvvvve us Cyber Knight!


OK..OK..no problem,hen hen heh! How much for zee women, ehhh...huh! :lick:
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Re: What kind of rights for Taiwanese expats?

Postby JFP » 15 Jan 2011, 01:48

TheAmericanNomad wrote:I am actually very active in politics here in the U.S., and, wouldn't mind going to a protest that I agreed with in Taiwan, wanted to know what my rights with that were.

I've fought for immigrants rights here, thought maybe I could in Taiwan as well. No biggie that I can't, after all its not my place to tell them how to run their country. But I wouldn't mind being out there and being "counted" for what it is worth.


... :ponder:

get a job.
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby TheAmericanNomad » 15 Jan 2011, 06:18

Thank you for those that have answered my question.

Sorry about the quotes around "free" I didn't mean much by it, I do the same thing when talking about the United States, because with warrant-less email taps, and naked body scans, and all sorts of other infringements on our rights in America, I have come to question what "freedom" actually means. I wonder if anyone can truly be "free" in this day and age. I would, if forced to guess, say that Taiwan might be more free than the United States.

I assure you, if I were talking about the U.S. or most any other country I would have done the same thing. But I understand why it came off the wrong way, it wasn't something I put a lot of thought into when I put it.

As for why I am thinking about protests, before I am even in Taiwan, well, I'm not really sure. I am not planing on coming to Taiwan and then the second week be stirring up trouble. But I am thinking of, and this is honestly premature, because maybe I won't even like Taiwan, but I can't help but think about the future, 5, 10, 15 years down the line. I suppose I would have figured it out by then, but I was just thinking about the future, and, if I do end up staying there for years, wouldn't mind letting my voice be heard. It would be a small factor in deciding if I wanted to stay long term or for just a few years. (though, obviously, a much bigger factor will be how I enjoy it there)
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby Feiren » 15 Jan 2011, 09:54

Let me try to explain.

Taiwan is unquestionably a free society for its citizens. In many ways, it feels much freer than the US because the police are far less omnipresent and less threatening and the people ignore a lot of the minor laws and rules that they don't like. Taiwan has freewheeling, completely uncensored media. It has open and reasonably fair elections in which two parties have regularly taken turns winning for most of the last 20 years. There is a large gay community that is left pretty much alone. There is no religious right. There is no homeland security or paranoia about terrorism. There are all kinds of activists who protest regularly about everything from the environment to credit card debt to homelessness. There is very, very little crime. People don't police political correctness.

That said though, Taiwan is still dealing with the hangover of a police state that ruled by martial law for 40 years. That state had lots of nasty ways for getting rid of foreigners it didn't like. The favored way was to hustle to them the airport and never allow them to come back. The rules allowing this are still on the books. That means that the police can arrest and deport any foreigner at any time for doing anything in Taiwan that does not comport with the purpose of their visit. The police decide what the purpose of your 'visit' (this even applies to people with permanent residence) and there is no review by an immigration court before you are deported. You can appeal to Taiwan's courts from overseas and I believe that many deportees could win, but this is expensive and would take time. I know of no one who has done so.

The result is that you can be deported by the police at any time arbitrarily. As you can imagine, that puts a bit of a crimp into the rights of foreigners here. This situation is unlikely to change because Taiwan has more than 400,000 migrant workers from SE Asia that employers and the police like to control this way.

That said, as a foreigner from a western country, it is very unlikely that you will be deported unless you commit a serious crime, get caught with drugs, or get HIV. Foreigners can and do participate in all kinds of legal protest and demonstrations (those with a permit). What you cannot do is speak on stage (not a good idea to get on stage, but people get away with it) at a political rally during an election. You also cannot be the sponsor (i.e.) the applicant of a demonstration. If you protest in a demonstration without a permit, nothing will happen about 90% of the time, the big exception being that if you get involved in labor or environmentalism activism and protest without a permit against the interests of one of Taiwan's big companies like Formosa Plastics or Foxconn, you will have a good chance of getting deported.

You should also be aware that as a legacy of martial law the police and security agencies tap hundreds of thousands of phones. They do need warrants, but the courts approve 99.999% of them and even if they don't, they can use the evidence from an illegal wiretap against you. The same goes for search warrants. This applies to Taiwanese as well as foreigners.

In sum, Taiwan is free in ways that the US is not. Its political system and society are free, but, in my opinion, it is not entirely ruled by law in the way Americans would understand that to mean. That leads to the very good advice that Cranky gave earlier in the thread.

Since Taiwan is not ruled entirely by law, the real question for foreigners is what the authorities will tolerate. They are pretty tolerant at the moment and that seems to be the long term trend.

This post was recommended by tom1807 (27 May 2011, 20:36)
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 15 Jan 2011, 10:14

I prefer the term expat over foreigner, but they're ultimately both words. Who gives a rodent's earlobe?

As for Americans, in Oz, we just call them what they are: seppos. It follows the rule of shortening a word or words, doubling a consonant and adding a or o to the end of the word. In this case, those words are septic tank, which of course rhyme with Yank. Canadians, such as the chief, are also seppos, even if they don't realise it and even if they do sew enormous Canadian flags on their backpacks.

I'd like to see sandman, steelersman and sulavaca chime in on this one, especially sulavaca, and where's tommy525? I'm sure this has something to do with chicks, a conspiracy to make people attain unnecessary qualifications or fiat currency.
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Re: What are the rights for expats in Taiwan?

Postby TheAmericanNomad » 15 Jan 2011, 15:11

Feiren: Thanks for the very informative post. Sounds like I'd probably be okay, but its still not really worth the risk. Looks like I'll only be protesting if its something that I think worth leaving the country for.

GuyInTaiwan wrote:As for Americans, in Oz, we just call them what they are: seppos. . . . septic tank, which of course rhyme with Yank.


OUCH! nice one.
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