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Transnational marriages in nation drop by half in decade

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The number of transnational marriages in Taiwan has dropped by 50 percent in the past 10 years, according to statistics from Ministry of Interior (MOI).

The MOI said that the number of transnational marriages in Taiwan had decreased from 46,000 in 2001 to about 20,000 in 2012, and number is continuing to get lower this year.

According to the MOI, the amount of people who got married from January to November this year was 132,164, which showed a 3.2-percent increase compared to the same period last year.

Among those couples who get married this year, transnational marriages accounted for about 13.5 percent, which was a 6.4-percent decrease, the MOI said.

According to the MOI, the amount of Taiwanese who married spouses coming from China, Hong Kong and Macau dropped by 10.1 percent, which is the largest decrease among all the transnational marriages.

The MOI said that before 2003, the percentage of transnational marriages had been gradually increasing and reached 31.86 percent in 2003, which was the peak of such unions.

During the peak of transnational marriages, the MOI said, over 60 percent of the foreign spouses were from mainland China.

In order to crack down on fraudulent marriages, the MOI launched an interview system for spouses from China in 2003 and also started to enforce interviewing foreign spouses outside of Taiwan in 2005, which resulted in a gradually decreasing number of transnational marriages since 2004.

According to Deputy Interior Minister Hsiao Chia-chi (蕭家淇), the decrease over the years is probably a result of the reduced attraction of Taiwanese to foreign spouses, and most Taiwanese think that it is easier to get used to the living habits of other Taiwanese compared to foreign spouses.

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