INA 101 (a)(30)
The term "passport" means any travel document issued by competent authority showing the bearer's origin, identity, and nationality if any, which is valid for the admission of the bearer into a foreign country.

Some US Executive Branch officials have publicly stated that "competent authority" as used in INA 101 (a) (30) means an official who is duly authorized to issue passports by the government of the country of issuance. Without a doubt, certain officials in Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan have been given due authorization by the Republic of China (ROC) government hierarchy to issue passports. However, the TCG stresses while such authorization may be legitimate in regard to dealing with "ROC exiles and their descendants," however in terms of dealing with the native Taiwanese people such an authorization is totally without any legal basis.

The primary reason for this is that a classification of "ROC citizen" for native Taiwanese people is incorrect. This is explained as follows:
  • Qing China ceded Taiwan to Japan in the 1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki. The validity of this was fully recognized in the 1922 Washington Naval Treaty, where "Formosa and the Pescadores" were classified as an insular area of Japan.

  • After Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress declared war against the Empire of Japan, which included Taiwan. Following the events of early August 1945, the Japanese Emperor announced his intention to surrender, and the surrender ceremonies were held Sept. 2, 1945, on the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay. In Taiwan, the Japanese surrender ceremonies were held on Oct. 25, 1945, thus marking the beginning of the military occupation.

  • Under international law, the military occupation of Taiwan beginning in late Oct. 1945 could not affect the nationality of native Taiwanese persons, who in fact remained as Japanese nationals until their nationality was cancelled by the Japanese courts in the early 1950s.

In any event, for the Taiwanese people to be bona fide ROC citizens, two conditions would need to be met:

First, the post-war treaty would have to award sovereignty of Taiwan to the ROC.

Second, there would have to be a law passed regarding these mass-naturalization procedures, after the peace treaty came into effect on April 28, 1952. In fact, neither of these two conditions has been met. Details are provided below:
  • In the San Francisco Peace Treaty (SFPT) of April 28, 1952, Japan renounced all right, claim, and title to Taiwan, but the Republic of China was not designated as the "receiving country."

  • Moreover, Article 4 of the ROC Constitution specifies that "The territory of the Republic of China within its existing national boundaries shall not be altered except by a resolution of the National Assembly." In regards to the alleged incorporation of Taiwan into Chinese territory, there is no resolution of the National Assembly on record.

  • The ROC Nationality Law was originally promulgated in February 1929, when Taiwan was a part of Japan. It was revised in February 2000, however there were no Articles addressing the mass naturalization of Taiwanese persons as ROC citizens.

  • Article 26 of the SFPT serves to authorize the drafting of a peace treaty between the ROC and Japan. Article 10 he Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty (Treaty of Taipei) of August 5, 1952 specifies:
    "For the purpose of the present Treaty, nationals of the Republic of China shall be deemed to include all the inhabitants and former inhabitants of Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) and their descendants who are of the Chinese nationality in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores) . . . . . . "
  • Based on the above, it is easy to see that the conditions of Article 10 of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty in regards to "in accordance with the laws and regulations which have been or may hereafter be enforced by the Republic of China in Taiwan . . . . " have yet to be fulfilled.

  • See Additional Commentary on Article 10 of the Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty by Ng, Yuzin Chiautong     1972, World United Formosans for Independence (Tokyo)

Summary and Conclusion

Taiwan (Formosa and the Pescadores) is self-governing dominion under Taiwan Relations Act, but, there is no passport issuing authority. Hence, it can be maintained that under US law the Taiwan governing authorities are counterfeiting "Republic of China passports."

In other words, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not recognized under either the San Francisco Peace Treaty or the Taiwan Relations Act (a US domestic law) to issue passports for native Taiwanese persons, in the areas of "Formosa and the Pescadores."

As defined in INA 101 (a) (30), the ROC Ministry of Foreign affairs cannot be construed as the competent authority for issuing passports to these persons. The false claims of "citizenship of the Republic of China" for native Taiwanese persons holding ROC passports should make those passports illegal under US law.

As an overseas territory under the jurisdiction of USMG, the issuance of "passports," "certificates of identity," etc. for native Taiwanese people must be authorized by the US Executive Branch.