Absence of strait link fuels social ills

Louis Won

THE lack of ''the three direct links'' between China and Taiwan has given rise to new social problems facing people across the Taiwan Strait, the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po reported yesterday.

''The three links'' refer to postal, trade, air and shipping services between the mainland and Taiwan.

According to a report from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province, one of the problems is the so-called ''one-country, two-wives'' syndrome, which means a lot of married Taiwanese men setting up business in China have another wife on the mainland.

The report claimed that the phenomenon was a result of the lack of direct flight and shipping links between the two sides.

As Taiwanese businessmen did not visit their families at home very often, some of them became bored and turned to other women or prostitutes on the mainland.

The newspaper also reported that some married businessmen produced fake documents to claim that they were single and then married mainland women because they realised that the Chinese authorities could never verify their marital status.


The paper quoted a Taiwan businessman as saying if there were air and shipping services across the strait, Taiwanese businessmen and their families could visit each other more often and a lot of the domestic discord and tragedies could be avoided.

The lack of ''the three direct links'' also caused other problems affecting public order on both sides.

The report said unscrupulous snakeheads on both sides had gained profits from smuggling people across the strait.

The newspaper reported that a lot of mainland labourers were known to have been smuggled to the island to work there.


Taiwanese illegal immigrants were also overstaying in the coastal Fujian province in China.

Unscrupulous businessmen fled to the island to avoid creditors, and criminals or triad members on the wanted list absconded from the mainland to avoid police.


The report said many illegal migrants had engaged in smuggling, drug-trafficking, operating gambling dens and other illegal activities in Fujian.