Taiwanese Americans promote self-identity during U.S. census

09/20/2020 08:23 PM
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Evelyn Lin (left) and TAP-LA
Evelyn Lin (left) and TAP-LA's Lee. CNA photo Sept. 20, 2020

Los Angeles, Sept. 19 (CNA) A group of Taiwanese Americans launched a caravan parade Saturday in Los Angeles to ask people from Taiwan to register their race as "Taiwanese" in the census being conducted across the United States.

Organized by the Taiwanese American Professionals-Los Angeles (TAP-LA), the parade was aimed at promoting self-identity among Taiwanese, seeking greater representation, and raising funds, said the group.

People of Taiwanese origin are encouraged to "to say who we are, and make it count in the official census," TAP-LA deputy head Lee Pei-hsuan (李佩璇) said.

"My parents are from Taiwan, and as a Taiwanese, I'm proud to inherit that legacy, and I'm motivated to be part of the Taiwanese groups in Los Angeles," she said.

According to the group, Taiwanese in the U.S. are not properly represented in the decennial census, because there is no selection on the census form to list their race as "Taiwanese."

In the Asian section, the checkboxes are "Chinese," "Filipino," "Korean," "Japanese," and "other Asian," the group said.

The TAP-LA said it is therefore encouraging Taiwanese Americans to check the "other Asian" box and write "Taiwanese" next to it, in the census that will end Sept. 30.

"Although many people think we are Chinese, we have developed awareness over the years of being Taiwanese," said Chen Po-yu (陳伯宇), one of the supporters of the campaign. "We want to make the government aware of the group's existence."

The 2010 U.S. census showed that there were 230,000 Taiwanese among the 18 million Asians in the country, with the Indian, Chinese and Filipino populations each exceeding 3 million.

(By Lin Hung-han and Lee Hsin-yin)

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