‘Mainland brides’ criticize gov’ts matchmaker crackdown

TAICHUNG, Taiwan, The China Post Staff

The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) has come under criticism for its alleged move to crack down on the advertisements for mainland brides. The MOI plans to impose a fine between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000 on the media which carry ads for mainland brides as well as the matchmaking agencies which pay for such ads.

The authorities said some ads promoted the controversial “wife shopping” on the mainland or Southeast Asia while the number of fake marriages has been on the rise, particularly for mainland wives. The decision drew criticism from mainland wives in Taiwan and their spouses, blaming the government for discriminating against cross-strait marriages. Some mainland spouses said the government puts much emphasis on human rights but was in fact focusing on rights only for some, and not all. Others said the government should strengthen its efforts to crack down on human smuggling rings which bring mainland women to Taiwan in the guise of fake marriages instead of going after the matchmaking ads. Some men who have mainland wives claimed most cross-strait marriages were not arranged by matchmakers and that the government should restrict all ads for foreign brides instead of singling out mainland women. KMT lawmaker Chen Shei-saint also blamed the MOI for violating the law governing the cross-strait relations by banning the ads for mainland brides. Lawmaker Chen Chin-chun of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, meanwhile, urged the authorities to pay attention to the ‘education’ of foreign spouses instead of restricting such marriages. However, Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmaker Cheng Cheng-lung said the restriction on mainland spouses is acceptable since Beijing has yet to relinquish military threats against Taiwan.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) later explained that the new measure was intended to tighten the rules of matchmaking ads, not discriminating against mainland spouses. According to the MAC, there is no plan to ban cross-strait marriages or matchmaking ads.