Languages
Page last updated at 06:24 GMT, Friday, 26 December 2008

Taiwan warms to Chinese spouses

By Cindy Sui
BBC News, Taipei

China-born women in Taiwan during hold a protest rally. File photo
Many Chinese spouses in Taiwan say the current rules are discriminatory

Taiwan's government plans to ease restrictions imposed on spouses, mostly wives, from mainland China married to Taiwanese citizens.

Current legislation prevents the mainlanders from working until at least two years after arriving.

They have to wait eight years before they are entitled to apply for permanent residence.

The rules for spouses of other nationalities are much more lenient, and many felt the changes are overdue.

Under the proposed changes, mainland Chinese spouses will be able to work within weeks of arriving, just like other foreign spouses.

They will be able to qualify for permanent residency and voting rights in six years, instead of eight.

They can also sponsor children from a previous marriage to come here.

Criticism

To the more than 250,000 Chinese spouses in Taiwan, the government's plan to relax restrictions is long overdue.

map

The spouses, who share the same language and culture as Taiwanese people, have argued that the rules are discriminatory.

They say they leave them dependent on their Taiwanese spouse.

Some suffer from domestic violence, but are afraid to get a divorce because they could be deported.

The rules were imposed during the long era of tense relations between China and Taiwan, which is seen by Beijing as a renegade province.

Previous governments in Taipei insisted the restrictions were necessary due to political tensions with China, fake marriages and the island's inability to handle an influx of Chinese immigrants.

A new government administration this year has built warmer ties with China.

However, the spouses argue the changes do not go far enough.

Other foreign spouses only have to wait four years, not six, to gain permanent residence.

Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Chinese brides cold-shouldered in Taiwan
29 Jul 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Chinese pandas arrive in Taiwan
23 Dec 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Daily China-Taiwan flights begin
15 Dec 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Family suicides on rise in Taiwan
07 Nov 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Clashes mar Chinese Taiwan visit
07 Nov 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Viewpoints: China and Taiwan deal
04 Nov 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Distrust amid China-Taiwan deal
04 Nov 08 |  Asia-Pacific


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific