Over 2,000 Indonesians in Taiwan are known to have married locals in the past few years, Dr Andrew Nien-Dzu Yang, secretary of the Chinese Council of Advanced Policy Studies, said here on Thursday.

The figure was still small compared to the number of marriages between Taiwanese and Chinese as well as Thai, he said in a lecture to participants of a workshop on development of Taiwan’s media.

"We don’t have any problem with Indonesian spouses. Many of them are Indonesians of Chinese descente," Yang said.

He said over the past two decades Taiwan had experienced an assimilation boom composed largely of spouses from mainland China and Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Indonesia. These new immigrants, more than 90 percent of whom are female, numbered more than 399,000 at the end of 2007, making them the fifth largest demographic group in Taiwan.

To help these immigrants assimilate, the government plans to spend NT$3 billion (USD91.4 million) in ten years following 2005 to support council services, educational programs and other schemes designed for foreign spouses.

Various government agencies and non governmental organizations have also provided translation services and free language classes for foreign spouses to help them overcome linguistic and cultural difficulties, he said.

Furthermore, the government conducted a program to financially support foreign spouses of middle-and low-income families. Those who have remained jobless for more than 12 weeks are eligible for subsidies of as much as USD472 per month for up to six month. Free vocational training program, in the meantime, are also available to assist them o find employment, he said.


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