Sun, May 25, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Immigrants can be bridges to foreign nations: minister

Staff writer, with CNA

Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-zen (陳威仁) yesterday said that new immigrants play an important role in Taiwanese society and expressed hope that they and their children will become an important bridge for communication with other countries.

Chen made the remarks during a National Immigration Agency Dragon Boat Festival celebration that drew hundreds of people who had recently immigrated from China, Thailand, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Citing ministry data, Chen said that Taiwan has 480,000 new immigrant families, which have 210,000 children, making them an important part of society.

Half come from China, while the others mainly hail from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines.

According to the data, one out of 10 students at junior-high and elementary school comes from a new immigrant family. The ministry estimates that after 2030, 13 percent of 25-year-olds in the nation will be from such families.

Chen said he hopes that while recent immigrants immerse themselves in local society, they will also retain their home countries’ culture and become bridges for economic and cultural exchanges.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who also attended the event, said that new immigrants have become a core part of Taiwan’s society.

He said that while they have absorbed Taiwan’s culture, they have still kept their mother tongues, and that that will be instrumental in developing the nation in the long term.

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