China's willingness to accept the return of illegal immigrants from Taiwan is a sign of warming cross-strait relations, academics said yesterday.
On Monday, the newly formed National Immigration Agency (NIA), under the Ministry of the Interior, deported 152 illegal Chinese immigrants.
That operation followed a Jan. 26 handover of 218 illegal aliens to Chinese authorities, bringing the number of repatriated illegal Chinese immigrants to 370 since the agency was established on Jan. 2.
In a recent press release, the agency lauded itself for deporting illegal Chinese immigrants, saying it had set new records by repatriating 370 illegal aliens in just 11 days and lowering the number of illegal Chinese aliens in detention centers countrywide to 128.
The breakthrough in deportation operations is the result of the agency enhancing communication with Chinese authorities, the release said.
However, academics yesterday attributed the success to China's willingness to take back its illegal aliens and to improved geopolitical circumstances.
"If this can be considered a success, then it was the culmination of years of talks and interaction between the agency's predecessor, the Immigration Bureau, and Chinese authorities," said Liao Yuan-hao (
"Let's also not forget that the overall political situation in the strait has been positive," he said.
Huang Kwei-bo (黃奎博), a professor of diplomacy at NCCU, agreed, saying that China's willingness to take back the illegal immigrants is yet another sign of good faith.
He cited Beijing's agreeing to import Taiwanese fruit and leaving out any mention of violence in discussions on cross-strait unification in recent months as part of its "smiling offensive."
"This is part of its new, softer approach to the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP]-led government, and [China] is trying to win over the Taiwanese people," Huang said, referring to China's "sudden" willingness to accept its illegal immigrants from Taiwan.
According to the release, persuading China to accept illegal aliens was a longstanding problem that peaked in 1993, when nearly 6,000 illegal immigrants flooded detention centers countrywide.
Notorious for not cooperating with Taiwan in repatriating the immigrants, China turned a corner in 2004 when NIA Director Wu Chen-chi (吳振吉) began reaching out to the Chinese authorities as director-general of the Immigration Bureau, NIA Deputy Director Wu Hsueh-yen (吳學燕) told the Taipei Times.
"We've been enjoying good relations with our counterparts in China ever since," Wu Hsueh-yen said, adding that the recent warming of cross-strait relations has indeed been a major factor in persuading China to take back its illegal aliens.
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) praised the agency in a phone interview yesterday, saying that its communication with China had resulted in Beijing's respecting Taiwan's sovereignty in the case of deportation operations.
"China is more willing to take [illegal immigrants] back now," Liao said.
Monday's operation took place on the island of Matsu, from which a vessel transported the illegal aliens, the release said. Observers from the Red Cross, Wu Chen-chi and other Taiwanese and Chinese officials were present to observe the handover.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
While stereotypically considered a household pest that simply will not die, Hung Ting-yang’s (洪鼎揚) experience with Archimandrita tesselata, commonly called the peppered roach, might change a person’s mind. The peppered roach originates in South America, is omnivorous and, as it is capable of growing to 7cm to 9cm long, is a giant compared with other roaches, which have an average length of about 4cm. The peppered roach goes through six separate chrysalis stages and takes nine months to reach full maturity. Mature roaches have wings, but cannot fly and can only glide. They have an average lifespan of three years. As his
The EU’s list of safe nations to which it would reopen borders next week does not include Taiwan, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said the list has not been finalized and some EU countries have highlighted the importance of “reciprocity.” The provisional list comprises Algeria, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay and the Vatican, the New York Times reported on Friday. The EU said it would add China, considered one of the “acceptable countries,” if it also opens its borders to EU travelers, the newspaper reported. Backed by