Thu, Jun 29, 2006 - Page 1 News List

MOFA to stop certifying marriages with Cambodians

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will stop authenticating marriage certificates between Taiwanese and Cambodian citizens next month because the Cambodian government considers Taiwanese to be citizens of the People's Republic of China.

The ministry yesterday urged Taiwanese married to Cambodian to register for interviews with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City before July 7 in order to obtain a marriage certificate authenticated by the government.

However, this only applies to couples who submitted applications for interviews before Jan. 26 because the ministry stopped accepting such applications on Jan. 23.

After July 7, the government will no longer provide marriage authentication services for Taiwanese-Cambodian couples, the ministry said in a press statement yesterday.

Cambodian spouses can't apply for resident permits in Taiwan without such certificates.

A ministry official said the government had decided to suspend document authentication services for Cambodians because there had been an upsurge in fake documents.

The ministry had asked Cambodia to tackle the problem but Phnom Penh responded by demanding that Taiwanese seeking certificates or services present identity documents provided by the Chinese embassy in Cambodia.

"The Cambodian government's measure has seriously undermined Taiwan's national dignity," the official said.

The new rules would also serve as a warning to Taiwanese about the risks involved in marrying Cambodians, the official said.

Cambodia is a staunch ally of China. Taiwan has no diplomatic representation in the country and all consular services related to Cambodia are handled by Taiwan's representative offices in Vietnam.

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