Allowing Chinese entertainers to come to Taiwan to act in TV dramas will increase job opportunities for locals rather than decrease them, Government Information Office (GIO) Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said on Thursday.
Shih made the remarks one day after announcing that the GIO was mapping out a draft proposal to allow Chinese performers and technicians to work in Taiwan.
“The proposed plan to allow a certain number of Chinese actors and technicians to work on local TV films will not affect the work rights of local performers and technicians. Instead, it will increase job opportunities,” she said.
She explained that Taiwan has in the past banned Chinese performers and workers in cross-strait joint-venture TV dramas, resulting in the job opportunities generated, such as set design or extras, all going to China.
She also said that the opening will help upgrade the development of Taiwan’s TV and film industries, saying that if the films were shot in Taiwan, it would help promote Taiwanese culture.
But lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party were unconvinced by Shih’s explanation.
DPP Legislator Yu Tian (余天) said it would seriously impact onTaiwan’s entertainment industry, especially since it was difficult for many middle-aged and elderly performers to find work.
Entertainer-turned-lawmaker Yu suggested that the GIO hold public hearings and work out complementary measures.
Two other DPP lawmakers, Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) and Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), questioned whether the opening to Chinese entertainers was a precursor to Taiwan opening to Chinese laborers.
Chen said that although President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said he would not open the country to Chinese workers, Chinese entertainers were in fact Chinese workers.