Taiwan has really treated foreign residents quite badly this year IMHO.
Personally I know caregivers that have been forced to stay home since Jan and April (in Europe, the USA and Canada you would be prosecuted for kidnapping, human trafficking ).
Migrant workers that have been dorm arrested since early May by their employers all over Taiwan and also by local governments. Shipped between dorm to factory and back again. Locals free to come and go.
We also have seen the deliberate exclusion of the small foreign resident resident community from various subsidy programs that they SHOUD be entitled to due to paying labour insurance and employment insurance and running legitimate regular businesses employing locals.
We have seen hospitals overcharging foreigners for essential PCR tests.
And in the last year they introduced a mandatory new ARC number with not TWO SHITS about what is the outcome.
My question is…Does a country that treats it’s foreign workers and residents so poorly deserve support ?
It really feels like the government is putting the squeeze on foreigners atm…unable to work, locked out of benefits, and confined to their homes with no extended family to share the burden. Feels almost vindictive.
I don’t understand the petty, short-sighted stinginess. Surely Taiwan needs all the foreign allies it can get, and this is just squandering goodwill and soft power?
“Support” on a personal level, like paying taxes, following the laws, informing people about the differences between Taiwan and China, …?
Or “support” on a political and economic level by the US, Japan, EU, …?
Talking about the first point: I agree, Taiwan is not exactly rolling out the “red carpet” for foreigners. But it’s not like regular citizens get the “royal treatment” by their government either: Wages - especially for the younger generations - have been quite stagnant the last decades while rents and real estate prices are through the roof. Almost no vacation days, often little benefits. Also road traffic is really dangerous and often deadly.
What I am saying is that life in Taiwan seems to be more “rigged” favoring rich people (landlords who don’t pay taxes among others) - and not so much foreigners vs. citizens.
I mean those “benefits” or relieve measures for normal people during COVID: I feel they’re quite ridiculously low compared to how rich Taiwan is. Even if I am not eligible, I don’t really feel like “missing out” (yeah - free money would of course be nice!).
As a foreigner, at least I have the choice if I want to stay or head back to my home country. Only the richer Taiwanese people (who can afford Green Cards and stuff) have the same option.
Of course, that’s my view being a foreigner from a “Western” Country. I really wouldn’t want to be a migrant worker in Taiwan these days. I feel in their situation I wouldn’t have many positive things to say about Taiwan these days…
I think it needs regulations/adjustments . Do you have to support/not support a whole country base on one deed? Is improvement not an option here? If that’s your solution to everything then you might be out of countries to live in very soon.
Btw I do think it’s unfair that only certain kinds of foreign workers are treated that way. The virus doesn’t care about nationality. If it’s clusters that they care about, then anyone living in similar environment should be treated the same way.
Yes, and I think Taiwan does care about foreigners, and listens to complaints, but could use improvement.
Guess I have a different perspective.
There are all kinds of programs to help foreigners adjust to Taiwan.
Foreigners eventually eligible for NHI.
Better than many places. Foreigners in Taiwan almost get treated like special guests compared to many countries including some advanced countries in the same region.
Caregivers get treated bad in USA and other countries as well. And there are laws there and Taiwan to manage.
Migrant workers arrested is overblown by the media. And not much different from companies asking Taiwan employees to mangage themselves when away from work. Some companies in Taiwan will suspend Taiwan employees if they don’t comply with company policies in regards to covid.
“Shipped”? They are bused or walking or provided transport regardless of covid. One or two instances of some random workers posting a video doesn’t make it arrested or criminal. Especially when it is a similar sacrifice that everyone is making in Taiwan and actually concerns migrant workers well being and ability to continue to be employed and support their family back home.
I chose “yes” but I was about 50:50 either way, which turned out pretty consistent with the current poll results (47:53 yes:no at the moment for 15 voters including me). I decided not to be vindictive, but not really feeling the love at the moment haha.
I know of one or two other friends feeling the same way at the moment (one in particular who has been here way longer than me, way more interested/educated in politics and history, with a Taiwanese wife, and up until recently very vocally pro-Taiwan/anti-CCP).
I have often had a hard time supporting Taiwan, not because of the last year’s events, but because of the persistent mistreatment of SEAsian laborers that has been happening for decades. Everything from physical abuse of maids to enslavement of fishermen. Bait-and-switch contracts changing pay rates and adding huge “fees” seem to be the norm – not rare exceptions by a few scumbag employers. Remember the Kaohsiung labor riots? And of course the constant inadequate safety equipment and training, resulting in deaths and maimings, such as Deserie Tagubasi. All she needed to save her life was a full-coverage rubber smock, but the factory was too cheap to provide that. In the absence of that, just having spill kits and emergency calcium might have saved her. IIRC, her supervisor didn’t even come over to help when she got hurt; it took something like an hour for him to bother.
And Taiwanese media tries to bury the story:
They avoid even mentioning her name:
Then there were the five Vietnamese workers who burned to death in the crappy company-provided dormitory, the Indonesian maid who was left blinded and crippled after months of beatings by her employer, and so on and so on and so on.
Of course, the alternative is CCP domination, which is worse. So I grit my teeth and mostly tell people that it’s a much better government than the alternative.
It’s not that bad. I think the current outbreak just exposed how outdated Taiwan’s laws and general treatment of foreigners is. But at the very least, they listen. And Taiwan, both its govt and people, are a reasonable bunch for the most part.
The bright side of this pandemic is that there’s room for improvement. And I honestly think things are improving even if it’s a very small slow step, it’s at least going in the right direction.
It was WAY WORSE. People forget. I remind you my eighteen-year old child was among the first group of children of foreign fathers to be granted citizenship.
Before that, your kid, child from a Taiwan mother, would turn eighteen and have to hit the road jack. (They grandfathered earlier births like my friend’s son but you had to request it. But that grandfathering didn’t go on forever. There was a cutoff date leaving some members of this community without citizenship )
Workers rights were lousy. The boss man threatened me by telling me a should reconsider getting my Visa based on my wife as I would loose my right to work.
Little did my slave driver know, the Taiwan people passed a law divorcing the work permit from the Visa allowing me to tell the boss he could stick it in his ear.
We (married) or long term residents have our basic rights that we didn’t have before. Stay polite, stay positive and try to negotiate. We are going through stressful times. Know your neighbors try to build friendships.
It was a dance to even get a driver’s license
I’m not going rambo mode for Taiwan, never would have anyway.
This pandemic has brought out a lot of the ugly side of the taiwan that is kind of kept under wraps thanks to the “useful idiot foreigners” who go on youtube making videos about how amazing taiwan is because of 7-11.
I still support Taiwan, but i’m not going out of my way to argue with wumao folks on reddit for hours on end. I do like the life style taiwan has allowed me to live. Just have to know you’ll be screwed out of a lot of stuff. overcharging pcr test for foreigners is a bad look, certain places making foreigners show passports for entry, and caging up migrant workers.
Is there actually even any attempt by the authorities to justify why PCR test charges are more expensive for foreigners? If Taiwan were a poor country, then one might be able to argue that foreigners are much richer and so this would compensate for this. But in the case of Taiwan this is obviously not the case. So this is simply daylight robbery
P.S.: Far Eastern Memorial Hospital for example is charging foreigners 84% (in words: eighty four percent!!!) more than locals
Only thing I remember hearing so far is MacKay saying they said they were told to set a different price range for foreigners by the CDC. Whether or not that’s the case…no idea.
When asked to comment on the price differences, a representative from MacKay Memorial Hospital said the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has set a separate price range for foreigners and Taiwanese that hospitals must follow.
Edit: Clarified that the above is simply what MacKay said and may not actually be the case of CDC doing this. It is not the first time people have lied about the treatment of foreigners being mandated by the government or police. Such as last year when only foreigners had to show passports with an entry stamp at some businesses (at a time when e-gate was still running and non-residents had been barred entry from Taiwan for a while) and lying saying that the police notified them that this is the policy they have to follow.
No fines or penalties from the government were given in these cases despite spreading fake information. As to what the CDC will do regarding the outrageous pricing for only foreigners (regardless if you have NHI or not) we have to wait and see.