The movement of peoples is often related to the development of human civilization. In the contemporary world, global capital flows and better transport technologies have greatly facilitated cross-border movement. Unlike the early flows of migration, which were largely directed towards the north and well-developed countries, modern migration flows follow a more diversified route towards the south and newly-developed countries (Massey 2002 ). This indicates that contemporary international migration does not only impact on a few developed or less-developed countries but is becoming a global phenomenon involving more and more countries. Among the vast number of works on international migration, labour migration has attracted a great deal of attention (Butcher 2006; Hannerz 1998), particularly in the context of Asian societies, where the export of semi-skilled or unskilled labour is widespread. As Massey (2002 ) points out, many countries have switched from simply exporting labour to both exporting and importing it. In fact, the cross-border movement of skilled migrants, as a result of the trend towards globalization and new forms of the international division of labour, has increased in significance during the past two decades (Favell et al. 2006). As shown in Manning and Bhatnagar (2006: 60), even in Southeast Asia, the traditional labour-exporting areas of Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand were already hosting 60,000-70,000 professionals and managerial personnel in 2002, while Indonesia and the Philippines had permitted the entry of 10,000-20,000 skilled workers.2 Manning and Bhatnagar’s research also revealed that manpower from Taiwan accounted for 4.6 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 4.7 per cent of skilled migrants in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines respectively, and Taiwan is accordingly listed as one of the top five import areas for skilled labour in the above-mentioned countries (2006: 61). Nevertheless, there is another country which has attracted more Taiwanese skilled workers during the past two decades: the People’s Republic of China. According to an estimate by an expert at the Taiwan Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the number of Taiwanese business people and expatriates residing in China had reached more than one million people in 2008 (Overseas Chinese News 2008).3 Ming-Chang Tsai and Chin-Fen Chang (2010) showed that 10.3 per cent of the respondents in the Taiwan Social Change
Survey 2005 claimed to have worked in China at some time or other. If responses to the survey questions such as, ‘having family (6.3 per cent), relatives (20.1 per cent), neighbours and/or friends (29.3 per cent), or co-workers (9.3 per cent) who have worked in China’ are included, it becomes clear that moving to China to work has become a striking feature of the career plans and daily lives of Taiwanese people in the various strata of society. Taiwanese business people and expatriates have also been the focus of many recent studies that have employed a broader approach, incorporating perspectives from sociology, social anthropology and political science (Hsing 1997; Tseng 2000, 2008; Chen 2006). There have even been calls for ‘Taishang [Taiwanese entrepreneurs] Studies’ as an interdisciplinary approach to this emerging research field (Keng et al. 2012). This reflects not only the increase in economic and social interaction between Taiwan and China in the recent past, but also the growing importance of China in the East Asian region and globally. Studies on Taiwanese entrepreneurs to date have tended to focus on their economic influence on cross-Strait relations and on the political impact of the huge capital flows to China, by adopting, for example, analytical perspectives at the macro level. Because capital flows are always linked with the mobility of people, however (Tseng 2000), there is also a need to provide analytical perspectives at the micro level. Indeed, Taiwanese business people and expatriates as individual migrants have been drawing increased attention from scholars during the last few years. These studies explore, for example, the social dynamics of expatriates during the migration processes, their identities and feelings of belonging after migrating to China, and the issue of keeping mistresses that is so common among Taiwanese businessmen (Jones and Shen 2008; Shen 2008; Keng and Schubert 2010). Little attention, however, has been given to the increasing number of crossborder marriages between expatriates and local Chinese people. This does not mean that this issue has been absent from recent studies on migrants or lacks importance in Taiwan. On the contrary, many scholars from different disciplines have contributed to this research agenda in the last decade, highlighting the huge impact of new immigrants to Taiwan both socially and politically (Wang and Hsiao 2009; Wang and Chang 2002; Lu 2008). They have addressed issues such as the large-scale commercialization of the marriage market in Taiwan, including cross-border marriages and the social adaptation processes of foreign and Chinese spouses in Taiwan as well as the kind of education problems that are faced by the children of new immigrants. This research goes beyond the dominant explanation, which is based on the economic disparities between the sending and receiving countries, and shows how other factors, such as the uneven development of the international political economy, the role played by matchmakers and individual desires for cross-border marriage, have all played a part in the rapid increase in marriage migrants to Taiwan. These studies have also served to draw public attention to the interaction between personal migration experiences and the social constraints faced by cross-border marriage migrants by unveiling the discrimination and other unfair treatment based on the
racial, class and gender prejudices experienced by new immigrants. Nevertheless, up to now, this work on migration has focused on marriage migrants in Taiwan proper and has paid much less attention to those who live outside Taiwan. This chapter will show that a great number of Chinese spouses have not registered for permanent residence in Taiwan, and also that this is not a marginal phenomenon but one that is well worth serious examination, especially with respect to the Chinese spouses of Taiwanese expatriates. The objective of this chapter is to provide a more comprehensive explanation of the reasons why the majority of Chinese spouses married to Taiwanese expatriates tend to choose to reside in China rather than in Taiwan, and how their citizenship is arranged. One line of argumentation followed here is that these marriages should be termed transnational, rather than cross-border marriages, in order to emphasize the role played by marriage migrants as active agents in the migration process. This chapter also argues that citizenship for Taiwanese expatriates with Chinese spouses, under the given restrictions in immigration policy in Taiwan, is first and foremost a ‘family-based dual citizenship’ arrangement. Many Chinese marriage migrants do not give up their PRC citizenship and decide not to reside in the host society; this is a pattern of migration behaviour that differs greatly from older patterns. Lastly, this chapter calls for the reconsideration of Taiwan’s current immigration policy.