Crackdown planned on ads about Chinese brides

LOVE FOR SALE: The Ministry of the Interior's decision to make things harder on matchmakers has led to accusations of government unfairness


Fri, Jul 30, 2004 - Page 2

On Wednesday the Ministry of the Interior announced a plan to clamp down on advertisements promoting Chinese brides.

"According to article 34 of the Act Governing Relations Between Peoples of The Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸關係條例), as well as a subordinate act which deals with cross-strait commercial activities, the clampdown on advertisements for Chinese brides is simply executing law, and not discrimination," said Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), vice minister of the interior.

The act stipulates that advertisements regarding goods or services originating in China are legal in Taiwan as long as there is nothing unethical about those goods or services.


Lee said that marriages should not be commercialized and that marriage liaison agencies that post unethical advertisements about Chinese brides will face a fine of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000, with the fines imposed according to the number of offences committed.

Lee said that those who place advertisements for Southeast Asian brides will not go scot-free either.

"Although Taiwan and Southeast Asian countries have not yet regulated this issue, other laws, such as the Broadcasting and Television Law (廣電法) and the Consumer Protection Law (消保法), can be used to crack down on such advertisements," Lee said.

going underground

In response, the Cross-Strait Marriage Harmony Promotion Association of the ROC said yesterday that the clampdown would make the management of marriage agencies more difficult.

"What will happen is that all the advertisers and marriage liaison agencies will conduct their businesses underground. So instead, the government should regulate the content of such advertisements -- for instance, the wording and phrases that appear in the advertisements," said Huang Chiang-nan (黃江南), president of the association.

A pan-blue camp legislator yesterday said that the clampdown on ads about Chinese brides is an act of discrimination against Chinese spouses.

`one china,

two systems'

"The government is only banning advertisements for Chinese spouses, not spouses from other countries. That is a sign of `one China, two systems' as well as discrimination against Chinese spouses," said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Sao-ping (徐少萍).

On the other hand, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator felt that the purpose of the clampdown was to prevent marriage from being commercialized.

"Marriage should be based on relationships and not treated as a commercial exchange," said DPP Legislator Chen Chin-chun (陳景峻)

What the government is trying to do is to enable cross-strait marriages to be built on normal relationships. No one's trying to oppress Chinese spouses," Chen said.