Tuesday, September 23, 2014Who or what is an overseas Chinese? This mind-boggling concept has a story of its own; it’s complex and confusing, even to me. This post is a long time in the making, and in it I try to explain the term to all those who may be curious, but first and foremost to myself.
I’ve often tried to explain to people what the phrase overseas Chinese (海外僑民) means. To most audiences I would simply define it as any Chinese descendent born, or living for an extended period of time, overseas—i.e. outside of China—and, as a consequence, may hold a Chinese passport and the passport issued by their country of origin or residence.
I am overseas Chinese. And here, when applying my own definition above, we encounter the first problem: I don’t hold a Chinese passport, but a Taiwanese passport. This is because I’m not Chinese, but Taiwanese—or am I?