DPP debates possible worker influx

JOBS::Chang Feng-yi of the Taiwan Labor and Social Policy Research Association said at least 220,000 Chinese workers entered and stayed in Taiwan last year

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Jul 16, 2013 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members and a labor affairs analyst debated yesterday the number of Chinese workers who might come to Taiwan after the recently signed service trade agreement between Taiwan and China takes effect.

The debate began with former DPP legislator Julian Kuo’s (郭正亮) commentary on Sunday, in which he warned the DPP against citing incorrect data to claim that the pact would cause an influx of as many as 360,000 Chinese migrant workers.

Kuo cited statistics provided by the National Immigration Administration (NIA) as saying that only 216 Chinese executives or professionals entered Taiwan last year, while Chinese-invested firms have hired 6,771 Taiwanese, which means incoming Chinese investment has benefited the local job market.

Kuo also said the government only issues one-year visas to Chinese workers and requires that they are renewed annually, rather than granting unlimited residence rights, as the DPP had said.

The NIA data appeared to have only covered personnel transfers in multinational corporations, one of three categories of personnel flows stipulated in the cross-strait service trade agreement, said Honigmann Hung (洪財隆), director of the DPP’s Department of China Affairs.

The other categories are professionals and businesspeople, Hung said, adding that the government has three regulations on each of the three categories, upon which the DPP’s criticism was based.

For example, he said, two Chinese workers are allowed residence in Taiwan after an initial investment of US$200,000, with another worker being admitted after an additional investment of US$500,000.

Hung said the DPP’s criticism was legitimate.

Taiwan Labor and Social Policy Research Association executive director Chang Feng-yi (張烽益) echoed Hung, saying that the NIA’s data only included personnel transfers in multinational corporations.

According to the data Chang provided, about 75,000 applications were approved by the NIA for Chinese businesspeople with about 150,000 application approved for Chinese who entered Taiwan as professionals.

That means at least 220,000 Chinese workers entered and stayed in Taiwan last year, Chang said.