Wed, Jan 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma urges equality for Chinese wives


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that he will ask the party's legislative caucus to push for revision of a law concerning the relations between people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to offer fairer treatment for Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals.

Ma, who also serves as Taipei mayor, made the remarks in a meeting with borough chiefs during which one pointed out the inequity in the government's treatment of foreign and Chinese spouses of Taiwanese men.

eight-year wait

Ankang borough chief, Wu Shui-shang (吳水上) said Chinese spouses of Taiwanese men must wait eight years to obtain their identification cards, compared with spouses from other countries who only have to wait three years.

Foreign spouses from middle and low-income families also receive a NT$2,500 (US$78) monthly subsidy for their babies, but spouses from China get nothing, Wu added.

Ma said the government has set restrictions on Chinese spouses getting ID cards and a ceiling of NT$2 million for inheritances, due to fears that too many Chinese spouses may come to Taiwan.

The government needs to address the situation, given the fact that newborn children of foreign spouses currently account for one-eighth of Taiwan's new births, Ma said.

cut costs

He also said that Taiwan did not formerly advocate direct transportation links with China, but with around 3.5 million people going to China for business or tourism purposes every year, direct cross-strait links will cut costs and time.

Ma said he will ask the KMT legislative caucus to push for revision of the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) to address the relevant issues amid the changing situation.

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