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TSMC vice president among 7 professionals to become naturalized Taiwanese citizens

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TSMC logo (AP photo)

Seven foreign professionals, including an American executive at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), have been approved for naturalization in Taiwan without surrendering their original citizenship, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Wednesday.

Taiwan amended its Nationality Act in 2016 to allow high-level foreign professionals to obtain Republic of China (Taiwan) citizenship without relinquishing their original nationality, as part of the government's efforts to attract and retain top talent from around the world.

On Wednesday, the MOI announced that it had approved the applications of seven new candidates -- four working in education and one each in fields related to culture, technology and economics -- bringing the total number of people naturalized under the program to 164.

Among the new citizens is Min Cao (曹敏), an American who serves as a vice president for research and development at TSMC, the ministry said. In its statement, the ministry described Cao as an expert in semiconductor development and design, and noted that he previously led the TSMC division responsible for developing 20 nanometer and 10 nanometer process technology.

In 2013, he received the National Industrial Innovation Award from Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs, it added.
Cao holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford University, and joined TSMC in 2004 before being promoted to vice president in 2018, according to his biography on the TSMC website.

Another of the naturalized foreign professionals is a Filipina, who became the youngest person to receive ROC citizenship through the program at the age of 29. The Filipina, who was not named, is both a medical doctor and a licensed pharmacist, and was recognized for her dermatology research and contributions to the medical industries in both the Philippines and Taiwan, the ministry said.

Also among the group were Stathes Paganis, a Greek national and professor in the Physics Department at National Taiwan University (NTU), and a Vietnamese national, Trần Thi Hoàng Phượng, who was recognized for her promotion of Vietnamese language and culture education in Taiwan, the MOI said.