ABC in Taiwan on ROC passport: no household registration = never subject to the draft?

Who can and cannot be a dual national, as well as the joys and frustrations accompanying that status. Includes ROC Passport and Military Conscription issues
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Re: ABC in Taiwan on ROC passport: no household registration = never subject to the draft?

Postby gnaij » 18 Mar 2012, 03:04

bismarck wrote:Indeed, but I wonder if conscription isn't the major reason behind this. Not sure if it is or isn't, but it wouldn't surprise me if it is the case. This may change after conscription ends, or maybe not, because another factor may be voting rights. And personally, I have a bit of a problem with that too. I'm a big believer in "no taxation without representation" and vice versa. I know most won't agree with me, but I think no resident and non tax paying nationals/citizens shouldn't be allowed to vote. Why? Because it's easy to sell us down the river to China whilst comfortably sitting in your living room in the US, Canada or Aussie. I remember how all the non resident, non tax paying runners to NA came back in 2008 to vote for Ma and the KMT, only to get back on a plane and back to their lives in N after the elections ended. They should have no say in our future IMO.

Anyway, more on topic, how is your situation unfolding so far? Any headway?


Many if not most of the liberal democracies allow some form of absentee voting. Some require people to poll at the embassy/consulate, while other (e.g. the United States) allow the ballot to be mailed through the foreign postal system. By making it impossible to vote without physically traveling to one's place of registration, Taiwan actually has a really conservative voting policy as far as democracies go. If your concern is the loyalty of the diaspora, why permit dual citizenship in the first place? Your arguments don't stop at controlling voting rights; they concern whether someone could possibly be loyal to two places at once.

I think the reason behind the "unregistered national" (i.e. national without citizenship) and "registered national" (i.e. national with citizenship) distinction is that the laws have to consistent with the 1947 borders. Absent a referendum declaring the de facto borders to be the official borders, they don't have the legal justification to draft legislation otherwise. This being the case, the Chinese people of the world are all nationals of the Republic of China. To prevent Taiwan from becoming flooded with migrant workers and other uncultured beings, they need to impose these nominally internal controls known as "household registration." But this process fails to map the degree of connection to the motherland: there isn't a whole lot of justification why an overseas-born Taiwanese whose parents registered them in Taiwan before age 14 can work and vote there while someone whose parents did not cannot. Both are one generation removed and should have the same access to resources and rights as a citizen.

Hong Kong law, which is similarly concerned about keeping out the country bumpkins on the other side of the border, makes a distinction between nationality and residency. Distinguishing between "Chinese national" and "Hong Kong permanent resident" is precise. Unlike "registered national" in Taiwan, a "permanent resident" in Hong Kong has clear criteria based on the subject's connection to the particular territory. Modified for Taiwan (and assuming that citizenship rights can extend only one generation and that foreigners should not be given what are essentially citizenship rights), it could go something like this:
The registered nationals of the Taiwan Area shall be:
(1) Republic of China nationals born in the Taiwan Area;
(2) Republic of China nationals who have ordinarily resided in the Taiwan Area for a continuous period of not less than X years; and
(3) Republic of China nationals born outside the Taiwan Area of those residents listed in categories (1) and (2).
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Basic_Law ... hapter_III

Edit: I haven't submitted anything yet. I'm going to sit on it for career-related reasons. The only benefits of a ROC passport at the moment is (1) cheaper rates when touring North Korea and (2) dummy document when renting motorbike in SE Asia. Visa-free travel is given only to ROC passport holders with an ID card.
gnaij
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