Taiwan’s Comment On Hiring Indians From Northeast Causes Controversy

Taiwan and India have usually had pretty decent relations, however, recent remarks by its Labour Minister, Hsu Ming-chun have caused the Taiwanese government to go into damage control given the content of those were seen as controversial.

The Labour Minister in an interview stated how Taiwan wanted to recruit migrant workers from the northeast region of India especially, commenting on how their skin colour, religion and more were in line with their own culture.

What Did The Minister Say?

On March 1, 2024, the YouTube channel Taiwan Green All (台灣青一色) aired a Yahoo TV interview where Labor Minister Hsu Ming-chun (許銘春) was asked about the recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) that had been signed on 26th February between India and Taiwan.

The MOU was a labour mobility agreement that would allow Taiwan to import Indian workers in light of labour shortage and an aging population. Currently, as per reports, the island employs around 700,00 migrant workers from various countries like Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Among her other statements on how the labour program would start, she said that India had contacted Taiwan about coming up with a labour cooperation agreement and commented how “The quality of India’s migrant workers is very good, and the stability of their workers is also very high.”

According to Hsu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs helped the Ministry of Labor (MOL) in selecting which regions would be best to recruit workers from and northeast India was among the picks.

The reason for this given by the labour minister was that “Their skin color and eating habits are similar to ours. Furthermore, most people in that region are Christians. Moreover, they are really good at sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, and construction.” 

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However, her remarks were not appreciated by people online who considered them to be “racially and communally biased”.

Her remarks were quickly called out by many people from the ruling and the opposition in Taiwan government with Kuan-Ting Chen, a member of the Legislative Yuan (MP) and Legislator of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, writing on X/Twitter that “I would like to respond to the comments made by Minister of Labor Ming-chun Hsu: Taiwan’s recruitment of migrant workers absolutely cannot be based on race or ethnicity. Period.”

In another post, he stated “As a member of Parliament, I want to reaffirm that Taiwan values everyone, irrespective of their race, culture, or religion. It is my firm belief that individuals from all backgrounds deserve respect, and I am committed to upholding this principle in Taiwan.”

The Taiwan Foreign Ministry also put out a statement on 4th March saying “Taiwan will welcome any Indian worker who meets conditions for recruitment and satisfies industry demand, regardless of their ethnic background. Qualified workers will be treated fairly and accorded due protection under Taiwanese law.”

The statement also apologised for the remarks made by the minister saying “Recently, in discussions with relevant sectors in Taiwan’s society, certain government agencies have made remarks that were not entirely appropriate.

This has led to criticism among Taiwan’s society, Indian friends, and other international stakeholders. The government expresses sincere apologies over this situation. It will earnestly review its actions and make needed improvements going forward.”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: Firstpost, CNN, The Economic Times

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Taiwan, Taiwan comment, Taiwan india, Taiwan northeast, Taiwan northeast india, northeast india, MOL, MOFA, Hsu Ming-Chun, Taiwan-India relations, migrant workers, labor agreement, Indian migrant workers, taiwan Labor Minister

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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