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Winner of the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 Ritika Sharma, First Runner-up Palak Sharma and Second-Runner-up Ashima Sharma wave to the audience during the Miss Himalaya Pageant 2018 in McLeod Ganj, India, on 6 October 2018, Photo: L. Wangyal
His Holiness the Dalai Lama arrives to begin his four day teaching on the request of a Taiwanese group, Tsuglakhang courtyard, Theckchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj, October . 3, 2018. OHHDL Photo/Ven. Tenzin Jamphel
Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama addresses the gathering during the 50th year celebration of Tibet Insitute Rikon. The event was attended by around 4000 people from all parts of Europe. Around 4000 people have come to attend the function organised by Tibet Institute Rikon with support of Tibetan Community in Switzerland and Liechtensein. Winterthur, September 22, 2018. Phayul photo/Norbu Wangyal
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China Stakes Claims on Overseas Taiwanese
Pacific News Service[Friday, August 01, 2003 10:30]
Bridges Ethnic Media Digest

By Pueng Vongs,

China recently requested that foreign governments require their citizens who were born in Taiwan to declare their place of birth as "China" on passports, a move that has riled Taiwanese Americans and enflamed the China-Taiwan reunification debate.

China has informed countries such as Canada that Canadian citizens who were born in Taiwan should declare their place of birth as "China," according to a report from Taiwan's Central News Agency. Although Canada is not enforcing this request, China has warned countries that fail to comply that it will curtail future visa applications to China.

Taiwanese groups in Canada are pressuring the Canadian government to refuse to honor China's request and to apologize to Canadian Taiwanese citizens.

China has previously issued similar stipulations regarding Tibetan residents in foreign countries. For U.S. citizens who are Tibetan immigrants, a compromise was reached -- they can use the Tibetan cities in which they were born as their place of birth on passports.

Prior to 1994, the United States required Taiwanese immigrants to use "China" as their place of birth. As the result of intense lobbying by Taiwanese American groups, Congress passed a law that gives naturalized Taiwanese American citizens the choice to write either China or Taiwan as their place of birth.

China has yet to ask the United States to abide by the request, although the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong has contacted China regarding this issue. An official from the Department of State commented that any change requested by China would require the approval of Congress. Such a change could affect high-profile naturalized citizens originally from Taiwan, such as U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao.
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