Thanks to slow, reluctant legislators, and “some” – or I should say “many” – cruel employers, Taiwan has a notoriously bad record of mistreating foreign labor. However, this time an inconvenient and awkward case has not happened in Taiwan, but in a Taiwanese diplomat's residence in the United States.
The headlines of major newspapers in Taiwan today concern Hsien-Hsien Liu (劉珊珊), the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Kansas City, who has been accused of underpaying her Philippine housekeeper, restricting her movement and forcing her to work 16 to 18 hours a day. Since Taiwan does not have official diplomatic relations with the US, Hsien-Hsien Liu is a de facto diplomat representing the Taiwanese government, though unofficially.
Most media outlets are discussing the negative impact on Taiwan-US relationships. Politicians from both the ruling Kuomingtang (KMT) or the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) say that the Taiwanese government should be “tough” on asserting Taiwan's sovereignty and demand diplomatic immunity for Liu, even though the federal persecutor told NBC News that since Taiwan is not an sovereign country Liu enjoys no such privilege.
While the rights of the abused maid are totally absent in the Taiwanese political discourse, Twitter users are more reflective about Taiwanese attitudes towards foreign labor.
@ancorena says [zh]:
GJ!Taiwan, a sarcastic fake news twitter account also covers this case [zh]:
Torrent Pien asks [zh] for more details about the case:
book686 comments [zh]:
Angel Smile says [zh]:
Winkai has an idea [zh]: