A group of Taiwanese students studying in Norway have vowed to set records straight after they found themselves labeled “Chinese nationals” on visas and entry documentation.
Led by a law student from the island called Joseph, since last November they have unsuccessfully lodged numerous complaints with the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board, demanding that their nationality be changed to Taiwanese, according to Oslo’s Aftenposten newspaper.
Mats Risbakken, a member of the appeals board, was quoted as saying that Norway’s longstanding One China policy meant that changing a student’s nationality would have no effect on his rights and freedoms during his stay in the country.
But Joseph, a practicing solicitor in Taiwan who specializes in human rights, maintains that categorizing Taiwanese as Chinese nationals constitutes a breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Norway is a signatory.
He told Washington, DC-based Radio Free Asia that, like other foreign governments, the Norwegian authorities had bowed to pressure from Beijing to force Chinese identity upon overseas Taiwanese.
He said he would consider crowdfunding to raise NT$900,000 (US$30,048) to appeal the case in Norway, and may ultimately take the Norwegian Immigration Appeals Board to the European Court of Human Rights.
A spokesperson of the Norwegian Foreign Ministry said there was no change in Norway’s One China Policy and that Norway did not recognize Taiwan.