Wed, Jun 02, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Chinese brides allege discrimination

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Chinese bride complains to the media about government discrimination during a protest in front of the National Police Agency's Immigration Office. The petition was organized by the Cross-Strait Marriage Harmony Promotion Association of the ROC.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Cross-Strait Marriage Harmony Promotion Association of the ROC held a silent protest in Taipei yesterday outside the National Police Agency's Immigration Office, demanding fair treatment for Chinese spouses in immigration matters.

"On March 1 this year, a new regulation in the Statute Governing the Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) was added. Chinese spouses receiving a national identification card are now subject to security clearance by a panel of officials. Yet there was no announcement of this measure prior to the new regulations being enacted," association secretary-general Liu Hsien-wen (劉獻文) said.

Liu said that before the new regulations were introduced, any applications for the permanent-residence identification cards for Chinese spouses only took five days. But since April 15, some Chinese spouses who had filed for applications had yet to receive their cards.

"We then called on the authorities for an update on the status of Chinese spouses and were then informed of the new regulation," Liu said.

In response, Steve Wu (吳學燕), deputy commissioner of the Immigration Office, said that the new regulation had been publicly announced last year.

"On Dec. 29, the bureau announced the introduction of the Regulation for Application for Residency and Permanent Residency of Chinese Spouses (大陸地區人民在台灣地區依親居留長期居留和定居許可辦法)," Wu said.

The Immigration Office's Web site (www.immigration.gov.tw) also noted the new regulation's introduction last Dec. 29, he said.

According to Article 33 of the regulation, authorities in charge of residency matters for spouses from China may invite representatives from the National Security Council, the Mainland Affairs Council, the Ministry of Justice's Bureau of Investigation and other associated agencies to convene a review panel.

Liu said that Chinese spouses who failed port-of-entry interviews when entering the country for the first time were not entitled to ask why they had been rejected.

"The statute stipulates that for the purposes of national security, no explanations are required to be gievn for the cancelation of entry permits for Chinese nationals," Liu said.

Liu hoped the government would begin treating Chinese spouses in the same way as spouses from other countries.

But Wu said that Chinese spouses who failed the interviews were still able to petition for a review.

"In the case of rejected interviewees, they can file [with the office]. On average, we receive 200 to 300 petitions every month," Wu said.

As for the protest, Liu said that once his organization had collected 10,000 signatures, it would present the petition to the relevant authorities.

This story has been viewed 3751 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top