The Taipei Times has a feature on one of the island’s most important expats, Robin Winkler.

The right to make statements like this without fear of deportation, or accusations of being a meddling foreigner, was part of what got Winkler, after more than 20 years as a foreigner, to give up his US passport for a Taiwanese one, in 2003.

It’s a right he exercises in countless meetings, speaking to vast congregations or a single legislator in soft Mandarin, making a point of referring to “we Taiwanese.”

He had romantic reasons for becoming Taiwanese as well. Having a US passport, and the ability to leave “if things get bad,” is like being “in two places at once,” and he wanted to be fully here, where he had spent half his life, built his career and met his wife, a Taiwanese-born publisher.

Winkler is the head of Wild At Heart, a local environmental group. Their blog is here. If you have a few extra pennies, they’ll be happy to put them to good use.