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Taiwanese students in Norway involved in visa row

The students are taking legal action against the Norwegian government in order to be recognised as Taiwanese on their visas – which currently identify them as Chinese

The students have formed a  group called ‘Taiwan: My Name, My Right’ in order to lobby the government to label them officially by their original nationality.

The group has alleged that the action contravened identity protections in the Norwegian constitution, the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights.

This echoes the long-running diplomatic dispute between the two territories, both of which are ruled by governments that see themselves as the ‘true’ Chinese administration.

Joseph, a student at The University of Oslo, stated:“I was wrongly recognised as a citizen [of a country] which I don’t identify myself as,” to The PIE News.

“I also came here to learn about human rights and freedom of speech, but this administrative decision is totally against what I [hoped for].” He added, further stating that that before 2010, Taiwanese students in Norway were recognised by their original nationality.

Reports have stated that the Taiwanese foreign ministry is assisting the students with their case.

 “The Norwegian government faced very strong pressure from the Chinese government, and it even boycotted their transportation to Norway and stop negotiating with the Norwegian government,” Joseph elaborated.

“I am fully… Taiwanese, and proud. When you register me as Chinese, that is a really strong insult against [me],” he stated.

In 2017, the Taiwanese group lodged an appeal against the decision to register them as citizens of China, which the Norwegian government had eventually dismissed after eight months. According to ‘Taiwan: My Name My Right’, in March 2018, the Norweigian Immigration Appeal Board maintained a ruling stating that it is bound by the EU’s One-China Policy and that the registration does not have an influence upon the rights and obligations of the parties concerned.

While Norway is not yet a full member of the EU, it does accept some rulings and policies as part of the European Economic Area.

The group has now started a crowdfunding campaign to hire a Norwegian lawyer.

-GBO Correspondent

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