Know foreigners Taiwan

"I don't want anything other than a simple life"


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But the new Chinese wave is met with divided echoes. The Chinese aren't exactly known for their good manners. You can recognize them by "that they smoke and spit," says Ms. Chen, the owner of the oyster omelet stand. The Chinese fill Ms. Chen's cash register. But when asked how she gets on with the Chinese, all she can think of is that Chinese have "yellow skin", just like Taiwanese. It doesn't sound like a love affair.

Make friends out of enemies

When enemies are to become friends, the youth are always sent forward. In the name of the Taiwanese-Chinese friendship, a total of 2,000 Chinese students were allowed to study in Taiwan in 2011. But while the Taiwanese Ministry of Education is usually vying for every Western student, it gives the Chinese the cold shoulder. They are subject to "the three restrictions and the six no's", which among other things state that Chinese students are not allowed to take part-time jobs and are not allowed to stay in Taiwan after completing their studies. They were only recently accepted into the health insurance scheme, which every foreigner who has lived in Taiwan for more than six months would otherwise have to join, after a lengthy and emotional debate.

Nevertheless: "I think studying in Taiwan is much better than in China," says Chinese Jiang Mingren, commenting on her choice of study location. During an exchange program she got to know the Taiwanese university landscape. Today she studies Chinese literature at Tsing Hua University, 100 km southwest of Taipei. All she has to do is shrug her shoulders for the restrictive education policy.

Whether the Ministry of Education can hold on to it is questionable anyway. Taiwan's dilemma is that it cannot do without foreign talent - not even without Chinese. And yet an old reflex of resentment always takes hold. When the vice chairman of the Chinese Bureau for Taiwan Affairs recently advised Chinese students to use their stay in Taiwan to make love, the mood of doom erupted in the Taiwanese network. China will bring Taiwan into the empire without a sword blow, it said. If Barack Obama had advised American students to do this, Taiwan would have gone into a frenzy of joy, others scoffed at Taiwan's chinaphobia.

"I don't want anything other than a simple life "

The hardest fate, however, is for Chinese women such as Family Mart saleswoman Yongfang. She has lived in Taipei for half a year as the wife of a Taiwanese. Since modern Taiwanese women like to stay unmarried, business with wives is flourishing. The web is teeming with pages on which Taiwanese men can look for their desired Chinese wife, including their city of origin and character traits.

Around 270,000 Chinese wives currently live in Taiwan and have to come to terms with social and legal discrimination. "I was looking for a job for half a year," says Yongfang, while she holds on to the cash register. "As soon as they heard my Chinese accent, they waved off." Chinese wives only get Taiwanese citizenship after six years; all other foreign wives only have to wait four years.

On the other hand, simplifying naturalization for Chinese women would jeopardize Taiwanese sovereignty. It can be assumed that the Chinese would vote for further rapprochement with China in elections. Taiwan's fear of the Trojan horse is as real as the pain of saleswoman Yongfang. "I really don't know why it's all so terribly political. I don't want anything other than a simple life," she whispers.