Sat, Nov 27, 2004 - Page 3 News List

TSU says Chinese immigrants shouldn't be citizens

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) legislative caucus said yesterday that it would amend the law to prevent Chinese immigrants from enjoying the rights of citizenship, so that the Chinese government could not manipulate Taiwanese politics.

The TSU caucus said that it would demand that the government not issue identity cards to Chinese immigrants under any cicumstances, but instead the immigrants should only be given Taiwanese "green cards," which would grant them the right to stay and all basic human rights -- except citizenship.

TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) said that the caucus would propose amending the Act Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area [兩岸人民關係條例] to achieve this goal.

Chen said that more and more Chinese women were coming to Taiwan and marrying Taiwanese men.

According to Chen, there have already been 186,318 Chinese women applying to come to Taiwan due to their marital status, and so far more than 110,000 had succeeded in coming to Taiwan, while 10,063 have obtained identity cards.

"If these women all get identity cards within the next ten years, and they enjoy the right to vote, the roughly 190,000 votes are enough to support four lawmakers in a legislative election," Chen said.

"Thus, Beijing would be able to manipulate Taiwan's elections, and candidates who are friendly to China will propound platforms against Taiwan's best interests," Chen said.

Chen also said that compared with other major countries, Taiwan was the only country in the world that allowed the people of its enemy to visit.

Chen also urged the government to adopt different policies to deal with immigrants from different countries.

He then said that the TSU caucus would promote the creation of a Taiwanese equivalent of the US' "green card," so that when Chinese immigrants were given the cards, they would enjoy healthcare, freedom of movement and other basic rights, but would be excluded from the citizen's right to vote, to work in the public sector and so on.

But some women's groups do not share the TSU's hostile sentiments toward Chinese immigrants.

Awakening Foundation Secretary-General Tseng Chao-yuan (曾昭媛) said that Chinese women should be treated just like any other immigrants and enjoy the same rights.

Tseng said that Premier Yu Shyi-kun once said that Chinese should be considered as foreigners, but that Chinese were actually treated differently from other foreigners.

"The government allows people to marry Chinese, yet it ignores their marriage rights, and is trying to deprive Chinese spouses of the right to live in this land. The right of a citizen is an important right in one's life," Tseng said.

Tseng said that the TSU's hypothesis about the hostility between Taiwan and China was understandable, but it was really "not necessary" to discriminate Chinese spouses from others.

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