If you are from Taiwan and move to Norway you have to register as a citizen of the Peoples Republic of China. To the Taiwanese who have had their own government since 1949, this is seen as a huge offence. So says Victor Yu who is Taiwan’s official delegate in Norway. Because Norway does not recognize Taiwan, he cannot receive diplomatic status. He points out that Taiwanese in Sweden, Denmark and a number of European countries can register under Taiwan and not under Taiwan Province of China.
“We are offended by many things in the way we are treated by the Norwegian government but what hurts the most is the question of national identity,” he says.
Beijing has long been determined to rejoin Taiwan with mainland China. Halvor Eifring, who is a professor in Asian studies at the University of Oslo thinks that Norway should have stuck to registering the Taiwanese under Taiwan.
“Changing this in the register would hold no meaning in relations between Norway and China. Norway has generally been to careful with China,” he says.
Victor Yu believes it to be a question of etiquette.
“We do not understand why Norwegian authorities have absolutely no understanding of our objections,” he says He points out that China has signed eight different treaties of commerce without referring to the country as a province. Norway is acting more like China than China,” he claims.
No agreement on taxes
Taiwan would also like to strike a deal on taxations between the two countries to increase commerce. Taiwan has a deal that prohibits double taxation with Sweden, Denmark and 34 other countries. But not Norway. The argument is that Norwegian companies would benefit from such a deal. Morten Høglund from the Progress Party believes an agreement would be beneficial.
“I think this is something that Norway should straighten out. There is no reason that we should have more strict rules than any of the other Nordic or European countries that we usually compare our selves with,” he says.
The Department of Finance also looked into the matter.
“Such a deal would benefit the trade between the countries involved says Roger Schjerva of the department.