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Chinese spouses to get IDs in four years: Ma

TAIPEI -- President Ma Ying-jeou pledged Saturday to shorten the duration of time mainland Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals have to wait to obtain IDs to four years, from six years at present.

The president said he cut the waiting period from eight to six years for mainland spouses four years ago and promised that the government will further reduce the waiting period to four years in line with other foreign spouses.

“This will enable mainland spouses to get more protection,” Ma said at a ceremony honoring 25 model new immigrant families.

There are more than 468,000 foreign spouses in Taiwan, including those from the mainland, Ma said, citing Ministry of the Interior statistics.

He noted that the government adopted many policies four years ago to ease restrictions on foreign spouses and mainland spouses, including on their ability to work in Taiwan.

“They can now work after getting married without having to wait to obtain an ID card,” he said.

He noted that taking care of new immigrants has become an important priority for the nation.

He also told the new immigrants that “this is your new home” and asked them to contribute to it to build a better future for everybody.

The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which does not share the president's enthusiasm for opening Taiwan's doors to China, said Ma needed to explain to the public why Chinese spouses should be given the same treatment as other foreign spouses of Taiwanese nationals.

DPP spokesman Lin Chun-hsien said there were valid reasons for severely restricting the ability of Chinese spouses of Taiwanese nationals to get IDs.

“If President Ma wants to cut the waiting period of mainland Chinese spouses to get IDs shorter, he should explain to the public how the original basis for the more restrictive regulations has changed,” he said.

Lin contended that related issues should be left to the Legislature and society to decide rather than be decided unilaterally by the president.

Asked about the DPP's stance on the issue, Lin said he has yet to know the exact ideas of the president and noted that the party will need to learn more about them and further study the issue.

October 28, 2012    wang.tiffany22@
"The opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which does not share the president's enthusiasm for opening Taiwan's doors to China, said Ma needed to explain to the public why Chinese spouses should be given the same treatment as other foreign spouses of Taiwanese nationals."

Cause its racist?
October 29, 2012    pvaudin@
But what are the criteria for other foreign spouses? I have been married to a Taiwan citizen for 6 years & still cannot become a permanent resident...
October 30, 2012    edann77@
I support severe restrictions, and deportation of lying, stupid and/or corrupt politicians and government officials. Only then can Taiwan move ahead and gain more respect.
October 30, 2012    curtisakbar@
This article is misleading, it's not being married to a Taiwanese national, it's being married and living in Taiwan for a certain period of time that enables you to gain Taiwan nationality. PVAUDIN, I have no idea why you can't become a resident, is it because you don't have a visa or you are here on a laborer permit?
November 1, 2012    ludahai_twn@
But Taiwan is still in the dark ages in that it requires foreign nationals, even those married to Taiwan nationals, to give up their original citizenship(s) before attaining Taiwan nationality. Even South Korea now allows spouses to gain nationality without surrendering their original citizenship.
November 5, 2012    curtisakbar@
I agree with you Ludahai, it is very strange that to become a national of Taiwan you need to give up your citizenship but once you have it, you can take up your old citizenship again. Taiwan is the only country I know of that requires you to give up your previous country whilst allowing dual-citizenship.
November 7, 2012    leejh27@
Easier conditions for mainland spouses mean more children born from mainland mothers that are less inclined to vote for the DPP when they are old enough to vote. The DPP doesn't want a new generation of voters stacking up against them.
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In celebration of new immigrant family role models, President Ma Ying-jeou smiles with an immigrant family as he hands out an award at a ceremony in Taipei, yesterday. Ma stated that Taiwan is a migratory society where the government is more than willing to help immigrants in building their dreams. (CNA )

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