I was just reading in the Taipei Times (Sunday, February 19) the American basketball phenom Jeremy Lin (point guard for the New York Knicks) has been offered citizenship by authorities responsible for this sort of thing in Taiwan:
"'Both of Jeremy Lin's parents were born in Taiwan and hold dual citizenship of the Republic of China (ROC) and the US,' [Lin's uncle] said. 'Jeremy Lin was born in California and has US citizenship in the ROC as well as well [as] by the Ministry of Foreign affairs,' [Lin's uncle] said."
The usual problems will occur for Lin should he accept. For example, all Taiwanese men as well as any who take out citizenship (and are under 35) have to do military service. But there is something a lot more interesting about this above assertion, at least to me. You see, if you apply for Taiwanese citizenship, you have to renounce your current citizenship. Of course, once you have gained Taiwanese citizenship, you are then free to apply for citizenships of other countries, including the one you have recently renounced.
Here's the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson James Chang: "We have checked with the Bureau of Consular Affairs. The government has never received an application from Jeremy Lin for ROC citizenship."
No kidding they haven't. Jeremy Lin is packing a US passport. If they had received an application, he wouldn't be.
"'Even though Jeremy Lin has US citizenship, he is eligible for ROC citizenship because both of his parents retain ROC citizenship and because Taiwan allows dual citizenship,' [Chang said]."
I really doubt however Lin will give up his US citizenship to apply for a Taiwan passport. After all, that would really complicate things for him to play basketball and go about living in his own country. Or will they change the rules just for this American because he looks like Taiwanese people?