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By the end of 2006, there were 249,118 spouses in total of resident Taiwanese from China, along with another 134,086 from other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia. More than 90 percent of these cases involved a Taiwanese man marrying a woman from abroad. Mainland and foreign women who marry into an economically disadvantaged household can hardly expect to live an affluent life. These newcomers not only have to overcome cultural differences and misunderstandings within the family but suffer from insufficient employment opportunity in the labor market. These conditions have led to intolerable friction in many cross-border marriages. Using the 2003 Survey of Foreign and Mainland Chinese Spouses’ Living Conditions, this paper explores both individual and structural factors associated with divorce and separation in cross-border marriages in Taiwan. In particular, the effect of dissimilarity between spouses, in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, on marital instability is examined. By considering different immigration regulations and laws towards various nationalities, this paper also compares the likelihood of marital disruption between couples involving spouses from Mainland China and Southeast Asia


By the end of 2006, there were 249,118 spouses in total of resident Taiwanese from China, along with another 134,086 from other countries, mainly in Southeast Asia. More than 90 percent of these cases involved a Taiwanese man marrying a woman from abroad. Mainland and foreign women who marry into an economically disadvantaged household can hardly expect to live an affluent life. These newcomers not only have to overcome cultural differences and misunderstandings within the family but suffer from insufficient employment opportunity in the labor market. These conditions have led to intolerable friction in many cross-border marriages. Using the 2003 Survey of Foreign and Mainland Chinese Spouses’ Living Conditions, this paper explores both individual and structural factors associated with divorce and separation in cross-border marriages in Taiwan. In particular, the effect of dissimilarity between spouses, in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, on marital instability is examined. By considering different immigration regulations and laws towards various nationalities, this paper also compares the likelihood of marital disruption between couples involving spouses from Mainland China and Southeast Asia


이 연구는 “2003년 외국인 및 중국본토 배우자의 생활실태조사” 자료를 분석하여, 대만에서 거주하는 외국인 배우자들의 이혼 및 별거와 관련된 개인적․구조적 요인들을 살펴보기 위한 것이다. 대만에는 2006년 말 현재 중국출신 약29만 명, 동남아 출신 약13만 명의 외국인 배우자가 거주하고 있으며, 이 중 90% 이상이 대만남성과 혼인한 외국인 여성들이다. 대부분 이들 여성은 경제적으로 열악한 조건의 대만 남성과 혼인하여 노부모나 남편을 돌보는 역할을 담당하고 있다. 이들은 가족 내 문화적 차이나 취업기회의 제약으로 인한 어려움을 겪고 있으며 이러한 상황은 많은 국제결혼 부부의 가정 내 불화를 초래하고 있다. 이 논문은 대만에서 부부간 이질성, 특히 사회인구학적 특성의 차이가 결혼해체에 미치는 영향을 분석하고 있다. 그리고 외국인 배우자의 출신 국가에 따라 차별적으로 적용되는 이민 법규를 고려하여 중국과 동남아시아에서 이주한 여성들의 결혼 해체 경향의 비교에 초점을 두고 있다.