Sat, Dec 04, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Foreign spouses fight naturalization laws

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Cross-Strait Marriage Harmony Promotion Association of the ROC yesterday spoke against Taiwan Solidarity Union's (TSU) proposed amendment to the law governing the naturalization of Chinese immigrants.

Last week the TSU's legislative caucus said that it would amend the Act Governing Relations between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area [兩岸人民關係條例] to prevent Chinese immigrants from enjoying the rights of citizenship, so that the Chinese government could not manipulate Taiwanese politics.

"If the TSU's proposal was out of the fear that naturalized citizens might later be voted into government offices and represent views of the Chinese government, then I suggest that the government stipulate a policy that the right to run for public elections does not come with the granting of citizenship," said Wang Hung-ru (王宏儒), a leading member of the association, yesterday.

Wang's wife, who immigrated to Taiwan in 1996 from China, became a Taiwanese citizen in 2002.

Wang said that most Taiwanese men who married Chinese women were in a minority who could not find ideal spouses in Taiwan.

"It was true in my case. Although I married a woman from China, I love Taiwan with all my heart," said Wang.

Wang explained that he agreed [with the TSU] that political views in favor of the Chinese Communist Party should not be allowed to be expressed by any elected people's representative in Taiwan.

He considered it reasonable that Chinese immigrants should not be able to run for public elections even after they had become citizens.

However, the cause Wang had been fighting for was to help Chinese spouses secure the basic rights enjoyed by average citizens.

Mo Chun-lan (莫純蘭), a Chinese spouse from Guangdong Province, filed for her naturalization application last month and has since been waiting eagerly for her identification card.

"When I first moved to Taiwan, the policy stipulated an 11-year wait for a Chinese spouse to receive her identification card, but now the wait has been cut down to 8 years. It concerns me that if what the TSU proposed came true, I might never receive my identification card or the process would be much delayed," Mo said.

stability paramount

Mo added that what Chinese spouses cared about was not politics, but a stable and peaceful environment for them and their families.

"Regardless of a candidate's political background, as long as he cares about spouses from abroad, we would definitely endorse that politician,"MMo said.

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