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Q & A

Wed. Apr 14, 2004
What is The Problem With Taiwan's Banks?
Today after work my boss tells me to open an account in her bank if I want to get paid. Straight forward enough and at least she won't have any excuses not to pay me on time.

She tells me it is Chang Hwa Bank here in Taichung (Taizhong). After two hours of searching I find a bank with a big red C H B on it and sure enough that's it.

I go inside and a security guard ask me in broken English if he can help. I tell him I want to open an account. He sits me down, ask for my Id and goes to work filling out papers. I sign about ten papers I can't read and he says have a seat. He then says there is a 1000NT minimum to open an account. I hand him 1000NT and that is the last I see of my money.

An hour later he comes and ask me to sign another form and wait. Half hour later tells me that my PARC is no good and I must have a passport. I tell him he is wrong and to ask the manager. He leads me to another counter and a lady tells me the same thing. My R.O.C. issued id is not acceptable and I must have a passport.

I ask her to call her boss and check as I have never had this problem before. She comes back 20 minutes later to tell me that she is right, I am wrong.

I ask her for her business card and I offer one of mine in exchange. She declines and gives me back my business card. I am then told that it is almost 4:00 and I have to go.

They refuse to allow me to open an account or to have back all the documents I signed. They also refuse to give me back my 1000NT or a receipt for my money. I may be mistaken but I think I was just robbed.

Any suggestions?
Pleas call me,
email me:


Having lived in Taiwan for many years and being the second generation of  mebers of my family to reside in Taiwan, I am appalled but not surprised by the way we Americans are treated here in Taiwan.
The most disturbing of which happened when my son was born here to a Taiwanese mother and American father.
The way I understood it at the time, in order for my son to get a passport from the R.O.C. he could not have a American father. His mother would have to claim sole guardianship and the fathers name could not be on the Chinese birth certificate. Thus I would not legally be my sons father in Taiwan. It was the same for all nationalities not deemed Chinese in the eyes of the government of the Republic of China. Unfortunately it means that you may not legally be your children's parent in Taiwan.
Later I found out that it is the policy of the Goverment of the Republic of China on Taiwan not to allow non-Chinese parents names to be on their children's birth certificates.
What can be done?

Hi i have an inquirey related to bushibans. I have just been laid of from my school because they told me they have to reduce the number of arc visas issued to foriegner teachers in their school. Please can you tell me the rules that regulate how many foriegner teachers each busiban is allowed to have.

Local language schools are only given permission to hire a limited number of foreign teachers, depending on their license.
You are not Chinese  limiting  your ability to seek  recourse. You have now lost rights to reside in Taiwan and must leave within seven days of official notification of you ARC being canceled by your employer.
The excuse you are given for your termination is very rarely factual.


I really like your website, with one exception:

At the main webpage of "Americans Living in Taiwan", you say:

"The intent of this organization is to give Americans living in Taiwan
a unified voice in the government of the United States. We also hope to
create a more direct bridge between the people of the United States and
the people living on Taiwan."

Note that the next-to-last word is "on" instead of "in". I find the
words "on Taiwan" extremely offensive because since Taiwan is an
independent country, you have to say "in Taiwan". The word "on" is only
used before the names of islands which are not independent countries.
For example, "on Oahu", "on Maui", "on Okinawa", etc. If an island or a
group of islands is an independent country, then you have to use the
preposition "in". For example, "in Singapore", "in Australia", "in New
Zealand", "in Japan", and "in Taiwan".

I hope you can please change the wording at your website as soon as
possible in order to not offend any more people.


 No Problem I will change the wording.

A Lost Child.
On Saturday October 4, I took my four-year old son to the Tom Dragon playland with one of his friends from school. This type of playground appeals particularly to parents with young active children because of the sense of security and safety that it provides. Everything is padded and safety checked. There are employees in various locations keeping an eye on things. The front gate is manned by two employees who check everybody coming in and going out. No child is allowed to leave unaccompanied by a parent.
The terrifying sequence of events is indicative of the chronic lack of professionalism on the part of both private and public institution here in Taiwan.
Around 6:30 pm I was playing with my son on the pirate ship shooting styrofoam balls at each other. I told my son I was going to the bathroom and would be right back. He was laying on net and looking very tired. I left him laying there and went to the bathroom. When I came back 2 to 3 minutes later he was gone. His mother and I looked around for 20 minutes and then asked the staff to help locate him. He was not on the premises. I called the police and AIT. The police were unresponsive. Both my wife and I called several times in Chinese and English with no result. I called 911 and asked to speak to the Foreign affairs police. The operator on the phone did not understand English nor my poor Chinese and hung up on me.
Around 7:00 my son was found crying in or around the first floor parking area by as of yet unidentified person or persons. That is three floors and on the other side of the department store from wher I last saw him in Tom Dragon
The police did not show up until a very loud and violent foreign father began to threaten the staff in the reception area. The foreign affairs police were still present and by 8:00 the police asked my family to come down to the police station and make a report. I asked repeatedly for the foreign affairs police to be notified and assist. The officers on the scene refused to contact them and when I contacted them they were again unresponsive. AIT called me every ten minutes to check on the situation and around 9:00 an officer from the FAP showed up to interpret and assist at the police station. When I asked him what took him so long he said he was not sleeping but watching MLB, Major League Baseball.
After the fact it is obvious to me that in this instance I have failed as a parent. I am no new comer to Taiwan and I am more than aware of the dangers that exist here. The quality of service in Taiwan is near the bottom of the global scale. Letting my guard down for a few minutes was the cause of this problem. Weather my son wandered out of the secure area by himself or was abducted has yet to be determined and the police are in no way interested in investigating the matter further. The police have also refused to file an official report as there was no apparent wrong doing evident.
My next question is what to do next.
Eric Lier

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