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Longtime New Taipei resident from Canada receives Taiwan citizenship

2018/10/11 20:25:56

Pierre Loisel (劉力學, center) and Lee Ssu-chuan (李四川, left)

Taipei, Oct. 11 (CNA) Pierre Loisel (劉力學), a Canadian who has been living in New Taipei for more than five decades, was naturalized Thursday, becoming the first non-clergy person in the city to be granted Taiwan citizenship without having to give up his own.

"I love Taiwan," Loisel, 78, said upon receiving his Republic of China (Taiwan) identification card.

A resident of New Taipei since 1964, Loisel played a significant role in building the local ICT industry, the New Taipei Civil Affairs Department said.

He assisted with the launch of the world's first Chinese computer interface as well as with the development of Taiwan's directory assistance service, the department said.

Loisel also founded the Canadian Society, the forerunner to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, and helped facilitate the establishment of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei three years later, according to the department.

After he retired, Loisel turned his analytical mind to farming and has become an iconic figure in the field of organic agriculture in Taiwan, the department added.

"My goal is to help grow healthy fruits and vegetables for Taiwan," Loisel said.

In presenting the Taiwan ID card to Loisel, New Taipei Deputy Mayor Lee Ssu-chuan (李四川) paid tribute to him, saying his love for Taiwan was not an understatement, as evidenced by his selfless contribution to the development of the country's information and communication technology.

In August, Loisel was awarded a Friendship Medal of Diplomacy by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) in recognition of his contribution to the country.

Under the 2017 amendments to the Nationality Act, high-level foreign professionals can now obtain Taiwan citizenship without relinquishing their own, as part of the government's efforts to foster, recruit and retain top talent from around the world.

Loisel's application for Taiwan citizenship was approved by the Ministry of the Interior under the recent regulations, with the help of the New Taipei Civil Affairs Department, according to the department director Chiang Chun-ting (江俊霆).

(By Lin Chang-shun and Ko Lin)