chapter  10
24 Pages

Home-going or home-making? The citizenship legislation and Chinese identity of Indonesian–Chinese women in Taiwan

Female marriage migration from Indonesia to Taiwan The focus of this chapter is Overseas Chinese (Huaqiao) women from Indonesia who marry men in Taiwan. The genesis of this migration can be traced back to as early as the late 1970s. Anecdotal information suggests that in those earlier years, discharged Mainlander servicemen (known as Mainlander veterans in later times) were the first to engage in this practice. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, parallel to the expanded economic interaction between Taiwan and Indonesia, Indonesian women began to migrate to Taiwan, via marriage, in their thousands. Their number rose as economic interaction was boosted by the Go South policy, a foreign policy that aimed to enhance Taiwan’s relationship with Southeast Asian states (Hsia 1997: 39). These couples were mainly introduced to each other through commercial brokers, but a certain percentage met through social matchmaking which was assisted by the contact between the Indonesian Chinese community and their relatives and friends in Taiwan. They were the pillar of female marriage migration to Taiwan from Southeast Asia up to 1996, when they came to be exceeded in numbers by Vietnamese women.