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DPP rejects 'discriminatory comments' against Chinese spouses

2018/08/03 21:02:10

The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Spokeswoman Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) / CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 3 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) does not agree with the discriminatory comments made by one of its lawmakers against the Chinese spouses of Taiwan nationals, the party spokeswoman said Friday, calling them "family members."

"All new immigrants, including Chinese spouses, who live in Taiwan and fight for Taiwan are our family members," said Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) in a statement.

The statement was made in response to an online post by DPP lawmaker Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) on his Facebook page that expressed his approval of the "different treatment" of Chinese spouses relative to other foreign spouses in Taiwan.

The differences are just a reflection of China's recent efforts to suppress Taiwan, including the revoking of Taichung's right to host the 2019 Asian Youth Games, Tsai wrote.

The post was criticized by Kuomintang lawmaker Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬), a new immigrant from Cambodia, who demanded that Tsai retract the remarks and issue a public apology.

Wu said that since the DPP's Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office as president in May 2016, her administration has spared no effort to improve the live of foreign spouses in Taiwan.

Measures that have been implemented include easing restrictions against Chinese spouses working in the public sector, and relaxing restrictions on family visits by Chinese spouses' family members from mainland China, Wu said.

"Taiwanese society is made up of different communal groups and respecting those groups is a fundamental idea embraced by the DPP," she said, adding that the party will continue its efforts to assist new immigrant in Taiwan so they can "live and work in peace and contentment."

However, Taiwan will never give in to China's "brutal" suppression and will continue to defend its precious democratic values, Wu added.

In Taiwan, residency matters related to Chinese spouses and foreign spouses are governed by different laws. As such, the acts regulating immigration and nationality for foreign spouses do not apply to Chinese spouses whose status is governed by the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

As a result, Chinese spouses invariably have to wait longer to qualify for permanent residency than other foreign spouses.

(By Sophia Yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)