By Amber Wang
A woman derided as a “foreign bride” after her cash-strapped Cambodian family married her off through a broker is set to make history at Taiwan’s elections next week.
Lin Li-chan is running for lawmaker in the parliamentary vote — held alongside the presidential election — and is expected to win, making her the island’s first “new immigrant” legislator.
The term refers to those who came to Taiwan after the first wave of migration from China post-1949, when the island split from the mainland following a civil war.
“I had never thought about going into politics. In Cambodia, democracy was not a familiar concept,” Lin, told AFP.
“It’s unbelievable how life turns out.”
Now 38 and a Taiwanese citizen, she was set up by her mother with a Taiwanese husband via a profit-making brokerage at the age of 20.
She moved from the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to become one of Taiwan’s tens of thousands of immigrant spouses, mainly from Southeast Asia and China.
Their vulnerability has been highlighted by abuse cases in recent years and Lin wants to draw on her own experiences to improve that.
“My father had passed away and my mother was struggling financially at that time. She decided to marry me off and the relatives on my father’s side were angry, thinking she sold me to Taiwan,” Lin said. Read more