It is difficult for people from opposite sides of the Taiwan Strait to maintain romantic relationships because of the political situation, travel restrictions and other factors, a former Chinese exchange student said in Taipei yesterday.
Chen Boyu (陳泊羽), who is from China’s Gansu Province and is currently studying at the University of Hong Kong, said she had a challenging experience when she was in a romantic relationship with a Taiwanese man.
In a book of stories by Chinese students who have visited Taiwan, Chen said in a story titled To My 10pm Online Lover that she always felt anxious when using videoconferencing software to chat with her boyfriend in the evenings.
The couple met at Tamkang University two years ago and had been dating for only two months when Chen’s exchange program ended and she had to leave Taiwan.
In the past two years, they have managed to see each other three or four times, she said.
Even though she wants to spend more time with her boyfriend, she has given up on the idea because of Taiwan’s restrictions on Chinese in Taiwan, either as students or tourists, Chen said.
Currently, Taiwan only allows students, tour groups and free independent travelers from certain regions of China to enter the country. Besides the distance, Chen said the political uncertainty across the Strait also lends insecurity to the situation.
She said she and her boyfriend argue whenever they talk about the future, including the possibility of a war between Taiwan and China.
“The shallow [Taiwan] Strait and the politics that is difficult to reconcile made me realize that cross-strait love is beyond my control,” Chen wrote at the end of her article.
During a trip to Taiwan late last month, Ye Kedong (葉克冬), a deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office under China’s State Council, met with Chinese students studying in Taiwan and encouraged them to make more local friends and consider relationships, including marriage, with Taiwanese.