Taiwan Labour Minister Hsu Ming-Chun Apologises After Criticism Over Racist Remark On Indians

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Taiwan Minister Apologises After Criticism Over 'Racist' Remark On Indians

The Taiwan Labor Ministry apologised for minister’s ‘inaccurate’ choice of words.


Labour Minister Hsu Ming-chun issued an apology on Tuesday for her remarks regarding the planned recruitment of Indian migrant workers, which some have criticised as “racist,” as reported by Central News Agency Taiwan.

In an interview, Minister Hsu had stated that the ministry would initially focus on recruiting workers from northeastern India because ‘their skin colour and dietary habits are closer to ours.’

She further stated that ‘individuals in this region, mostly Christians, are skilled in manufacturing, construction, and farming, as per Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) assessments,’ as per Central News Agency.

At a legislative hearing Tuesday morning, Hsu expressed regret for her ‘inaccurate’ comments, clarifying that Taiwan’s labour policies aim for equality, devoid of discrimination, be it for local or foreign workers.

According to the Central News Agency, she emphasized her intention to highlight the abilities and performance of Indian workers, dissociating from any discriminatory motives.

Legislator Chen Kuan-ting of the Democratic Progressive Party strongly condemned Hsu’s remarks in a video posted on X, “strongly condemned” Hsu’s comments, arguing that skin colour and race should not be criteria for recruiting migrant workers.

In a statement issued on Monday night, the Labor Ministry apologised for Hsu’s ‘inaccurate’ choice of words, emphasising that the comments were not meant to discriminate.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued an apology, acknowledging the ‘not entirely appropriate’ narratives surrounding the planned recruitment of Indian workers.

The statement said that Taiwan boasts a civil society that embraces different views and allows for a wide array of voices to be heard.

“Taiwan also fully respects India’s diverse and rich culture and cherishes the friendship between the peoples of Taiwan and India. It will spare no effort in advancing cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the two countries, with the aim of further elevating cooperation and partnership between Taiwan and India,” it added.

The ministry further expressed hope that the people of Taiwan will support the country’s efforts to engage with the world and advance substantive interactions with partners in the Indo-Pacific region.

“Taiwan government also hopes that the people of Taiwan will support the country’s efforts to engage with the world, further advance substantive interactions with partners in the Indo-Pacific region, and thereby bolster reciprocal and mutually beneficial exchanges,” the statement said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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