Thursday, September 28, 2023
Courthouse News Service
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Taiwanese Take Case for Citizenship to D.C.

WASHINGTON (CN) - Advocates for a self-governed Taiwan have asked a federal judge to return the citizenship stripped from them by China after World War II.

Taiwan, which sits just off the coast of Japan, was the site of the formal surrender by the Japanese in 1945.

It was the Nationalist Chinese Party's Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek who accepted Japan's surrender, and in 1946 then the Republic of China promulgated nationality decrees that stripped Japanese nationals living in Taiwan of their nationality.

In a Feb. 27 federal complaint, advocacy group Taiwan Civil Government and its two spokesmen, Roger Lin and Julian Lin, say those actions were illegal.

The United States and the Republic of China are named as defendants to the action, which seeks to have the nearly 70-year-old national decrees declared a violation of international law.

It has been nearly six years since the D.C. Circuit dismissed a bid for U.S. citizenship by Taiwanese residents based on the finding that U.S. courts have no say over whether residents of the island deserve to be U.S. nationals.

In the new complaint, the Lins and Taiwan Civil Government say they have been deprived of a recognized nationality.

"The people of Taiwan are 'without a state' and, to this day, in a circumstance of continually trying 'to concretely define their national identity,'" the complaint states.

Knowing the uphill battle to prove that U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the matter, the Taiwanese plaintiffs claim that the United States was the occupying power of Taiwan at the time and is responsible for China's actions.

Their action seeks a declaration invalidating the loss of their nationality.

Charles Camp represents the Lins and their group.

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