Taiwanese students in Norway raise funds for name change from China to Taiwan on residence permit

(screenshot image of the page MY NAME MY RIGHT)

(screenshot image of the page MY NAME MY RIGHT)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - A group of Taiwanese students in Norway is setting up a fundraising page to push the Norwegian government to correct the nationality of Taiwanese people on residence permits; the fund has reached its phase-1 target of NT$1.22 million.

The group is set to file a suit in October at the earliest.

The group explained on the page the rationale to launch the initiative. They are asking the government of Norway to correct the nationality for Taiwanese people studying or living in the northern European country from China to Taiwan - where they actually come from - on their residence permit in order to safeguard their "rights to personal identity," which is recognized in several international agreements regarding human rights.

The page shows that the initiative has garnered support from more than 1,000 people and funds totalling more than NT$2.1 million (US$68,400) at the time of publication.

The target of the phase 2 fundraising is NT$4.88 million (US$158,700).

(A screenshot image of MY NAME MY RIGHT)

There are eight different sponsorship amounts to choose from: NT$368, NT$886, NT$1,566, NT$2,357, NT$3,952, NT$5,092, NT$24,577, and NT$36,188, with each number representing a fact about Taiwan. 368 stands for the total number of townships and villages in the country, 886 is the country code of Taiwan, 1,566 (km) stands for the total length of shoreline of the beautiful island country, 2357 is associated with the total Taiwan population - 23.57 million, 3,952 (meters) is the height of the country's highest peak, 5092 is associated with the altitude of the country's tallest building Taipei 101 - 509.2 meters, 24,577 (USD) is the country's GDP per capita, and 36,188 (sq km) is the size of the country.

The sponsors will receive a special gift or free service in return from the organizer to thank them for their support.

The page also recalled recent China's bullying of Taiwan, including coercing international businesses to change their references to Taiwan, and pressuring the East Asian Olympic Committee (EAOC) to strip Taichung City of its right to host the 2019 East Asian Youth Games.

The page cited a warning from J. Michael Cole, a Taiwan Studies expert, to remind the Norwegian government not to bow to the authoritarian regime's pressure and preposterous demands, as compromise would only lead Beijing to demand more, eventually eroding Norway's own freedom of expression and its core national beliefs and interests.

"Imagine it. Would you (Norwegian people) be happy when you are studying in the U.S. but are registered as from Sweden?" said the page, and the question is used to highlight the absurdity of the current practice in Norway.

The group said they are fundraising to seek judicial review, with the help of professionals, to stop naming Taiwanese people as from China on their residence permit.

The initiative is scheduled to kick off in early October, according to the timeline listed on the page. The group will first hire a local lawyer and file a suit at the local district level to push for action.

Go to this Chinese-language page to support this initiative.