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May 26, 2017

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New immigrants help international communication: minister

TAIPEI--Taiwan's interior minister said Saturday that new immigrants play an important role in Taiwanese society and he expressed hope that new immigrants and their children will become an important bridge for communication with other countries.

Chen Wei-zen made the remarks during an event held by the National Immigration Agency to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival that attracted hundreds of new immigrants from China, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

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

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

According to the statistics, one out of 10 students at junior high and elementary school come from new immigrant families. It is estimated that after 2030, 13 percent of people aged 25 in Taiwan will be from new immigrant families.

Chen said he hopes that while new immigrants immerse themselves in Taiwanese society, they will keep their home countries' culture and become bridges for economic and cultural exchanges.

Vice President Wu Den-yih, who also attended the event, said that new immigrants have become a core part of Taiwan's society. While they have got immersed in Taiwan's culture, they have still kept their mother tongues. This, he said, will be instrumental in the positive development of Taiwan in the long term.

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