Jeremy Lin has automatic Taiwanese citizenship: MOFA

02/16/2012 06:23 PM
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Taipei, Feb. 16 (CNA) Basketball star Jeremy Lin has Taiwanese citizenship because his parents were both Taiwanese citizens at the time of Lin’s birth, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Thursday.

This automatically makes Lin a Taiwan citizen and there is no need for him to apply for citizenship, said Thomas Chen, director-general of the Bureau of Consular Affairs under the MOFA.

However, Lin does not hold a Taiwanese passport, for which an application is required, Chen said.

The MOFA’s passport database shows 40 people with Lin’s Chinese name -- Lin Shu-hao –- none of whom match his profile, Chen said, amid reports of Taiwanese and Chinese claims on the basketballer’s national identity.

Some reports have said that Lin’s ancestral home is in China because his maternal grandmother grew up in Zhejiang Province before moving to Taiwan in the 1940s.

In an interview in Taipei with the New York Times, the baskeballer’s uncle Lin Chi-chung said his brother, Jeremy Lin’s father, had especially asked him to make the point that “for sure, they are Taiwanese.”

The Lin family descended from immigrants from Fujian Province in China who crossed the Taiwan Strait in 1707, according to a news article published Wednesday.

Jeremy Lin’s parents were born in Taiwan and later obtained U.S. citizenship, his uncle said.

(By Nancy Liu)ENDITEM /pc

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