Norway faces Taiwanese pressure over Chinese classification

taiwan-flag-littleThe Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has hit out at Norway’s failure to recognise the island nation as a country.

Last week, Taiwanese authorities expressed the hope that their Norwegian counterparts would stop using ‘China’ as the default homeland on all official documents for visitors from their country.

According to a report by eTaiwanews, in recent months a number of Taiwanese students in Norway have lodged complaints against immigration officials who listed China as their country of origin.

The Liberty Times, a Chinese-language newspaper, exposed the case of one student named Yang who had his official nationality changed on travel documents after Norway failed to recognise Taiwan as a country.

MOFA claims that it immediately made contact with Norwegian officials after being alerted to Yang’s situation by a representative in their Oslo office. The ministry demanded a hasty correction, insisting that the record of the student’s homeland was changed to either ‘Taiwan’ or ‘Republic of China’.

The incident follows a similar situation in December where, after pressure from MOFA, Norwegian authorities changed the wording on another student visa. Four further cases were also uncovered, with two ‘China’ classifications subsequently changed to ‘Taiwan’.
MOFA said that it will continue to monitor the situation closely and had issued the Oslo office with instructions to rectify any outstanding cases of misrepresented identity.

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