Taiwan imposes stricter rules on Chinese trainees


TAIPEI — Taiwan said yesterday it has imposed stricter rules on Chinese nationals who come to the island for professional training amid concerns that they might take jobs away from locals. Chinese businesspeople or professionals will now be allowed to stay for no longer than a month, down from three months previously, with an annual quota of 100 trainees per company, said the interior ministry. The new rules came after Taiwan-based Young Fast Optoelectronics Co. was investigated for allegedly using Chinese workers under the pretext of sending them to Taiwan for business training, the ministry said. Some Taiwanese have accused the company of laying them off in order to hire cheaper Chinese labor and staged repeated protests until prosecutors started to look into the case. Taiwan’s government has vowed not to open its job market to Chinese nationals, despite signing a major trade deal with Beijing in June amid improving ties. The Beijing-friendly administration of President Ma Ying-jeou has argued that the deal, known as the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, will boost economic growth and employment.

But opponents fear it will not only erode the island’s de facto independence from the mainland but also upset its job market.