Groups protest hiring of Chinese


TAIPEI — Local labor rights groups staged a demonstration in Taipei Saturday against what they said was the illegal importation of Chinese laborers by electronics manufacturers in Taiwan. According to the groups, the Chinese laborers were brought to Taiwan under the guise of highly skilled professionals, who are legally allowed to stay in Taiwan for extended periods, but had been discovered working in factories operated by Young Fast Optoelectronics Co, ASE Group and AU Optronics Corp. Chu Cheng-chi, a spokesman for the protesters, said such illegal activities could be behind the sharp increase in Chinese business people and highly skilled professionals visiting Taiwan in recent years. Citing statistics from the National Immigration Agency (NIA), Chu said 180,000 applications by Chinese business people and professionals to visit Taiwan were approved in 2009, up from 90,000 the previous year. As of August this year, more than 160,000 such applications had been approved, with the total number expected to top 200,000 by the end of this year, Chu said. He said the situation, if proven true, would run counter to the government’s promise “not to open Taiwan to Chinese laborers,” and he demanded that the NIA and the Council of Labor Affairs investigate the matter.