Sat, May 05, 2012 - Page 2 News List

TSU lawmaker suspects influx of illegal workers

Staff writer, with CNA

An opposition legislator alleged yesterday that a large number of Chinese are being illegally hired to work in Taiwan and urged authorities to crack down on the practice. Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said she has discovered restaurants that are completely staffed by Chinese nationals near her home in eastern Taipei.

Lin said she has also run across taxi drivers who she suspected were from China.

Given their large numbers, she came to suspect that some of them do not hold work permits. Chinese citizens are forbidden to work in Taiwan except for those who are married to Taiwanese and have obtained residency rights here.

The lawmaker called on the government to be careful about further opening the nation’s service sector to Chinese investment, saying that this could lead to an influx of Chinese workers and threaten the employment opportunities of Taiwanese.

Deputy minister of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, Hwang Wang-hsiang (黃萬翔), said allowing more Chinese investment in the service sector would help create jobs and enhance the sector’s competitiveness.

Since Taiwan opened its doors to Chinese investment on June 30, 2009, there have been 187 investment projects worth a total of US$205 million (NT$5.9 billion) in the service sector.

The number accounts for 78.9 percent of the number of approved cases in all sectors, according to Hwang.

However, he promised to pass on Lin’s complaint about illegal Chinese workers to the appropriate authorities.

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