Cross-cultural marriages in Taiwan have dropped by more than half over the past decade, with the number falling from a peak of 46,000 in 2001 to 20,000 last year, government statistics show.
In the first 11 months of the year, 13.5 percent of the 132,164 marriages in Taiwan involved a spouse of foreign nationality, Ministry of the Interior data showed.
This represented a clear downward trend of cross-cultural marriages in Taiwan. In 2003, 32 percent of the total marriages were between a Taiwanese national and foreign spouse, figures showed. In the same year, one in every three marriages involved a foreign national, with more than 60 percent being Chinese.
However, the number of Taiwanese-Chinese marriages fell to 12,000 last year from 26,000 in 2001, reflecting the largest decrease of 10.1 percent among any group of foreign spouses, the data showed.
Deputy Minister of the Interior Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇) attributed the decline in the percentage of Chinese spouses (including those from Hong Kong and Macau) to difference in lifestyles and Taiwan’s fading attraction as a destination for foreign spouses.
Some policy changes might also have affected the trend, ministry officials said.
In a bid to prevent marriages of convenience between Taiwanese and foreign nationals, the ministry in 2003 made it mandatory for prospective Chinese spouses to interview with immigration officials before being granted residence in Taiwan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also adopted the regulation for spouses of other nationalities, which went into effect in 2005.