Open Letter to GIO Minister Hsieh
Dear Minister Hsieh,
First, please accept my congratulations for your effective work in building support for Taiwan's UN bid in New York last weekend.
I am writing, however, to express my disappointment in the form and content of an ad that your Office has run both on one of your English-language websites and the local English-language media.
My first objection is to the requirement that the applicant be a "Citizen of the Republic of China". Why is it impossible for your Office to use the far more natural 'Taiwanese citizen' or 'Citizen of Taiwan'? Or, since you are after all a government office, why not at least use the same formulations as used by the Presidential office and on Taiwanese passports--"Citizen of the Republic of China (Taiwan)"?
My second objection is to the nationality requirement itself. Surely your Office no longer seriously believes in the essentialist dogma that one must be 'Chinese' or 'Taiwanese' to to understand and write about Taiwan. This obnoxious myth is not at all consistent with Taiwan's commitment to being a pluralist and open society. The best way to present Taiwan to the world is to have informed native speakers of both languages work together to produce high quality work about Taiwan that neither could produce by themselves.
Why not open this position to the many foreigners with work rights in Taiwan either by marriage or through permanent residence? Many of the qualified 'ROC citizens' who will apply for this position will hold passports from other countries and have spent less time in Taiwan than some long-term residents. They are not excluded by this nationality requirement.
I urge you to reconsider this ad and also to undertake a serious review of your English language website. Much of the content there undermines the work you are doing for Taiwan. Little things matter.
[This letter has also been submitted to the GIO's official mail box]