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Taiwan president welcomes Indian migrants

Reports of deal to allow Indian migrants into Taiwan met with racism from some

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India Taipei Association (ITA) celebrates Diwali with performances, 2023. (CNA photo)

India Taipei Association (ITA) celebrates Diwali with performances, 2023. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s president and government ministries rolled out the welcome mat to Indians after an initiative to increase the number of migrant workers from India spurred racist remarks online.

The two nations are expected to sign a deal by the end of the year to allow 100,000 Indian migrant workers, according to unconfirmed reports.

In response, on Saturday (Nov. 25) and sometime after Diwali, or India’s “Festival of Lights” that fell on Nov. 12, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) tweeted on X that she hoped the “Indian community in #Taiwan celebrates #Diwali in Taipei." "I wish a very happy festival of lights to all our friends here, in #India, & all around the world," she added. Tsai headed the post, “Namaste,” which means “I bow to you” and is commonly used as a greeting.

Also Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs followed suit with the message: “Hope the Festival of Lights brings all Indian friends, in #Taiwan, #India & all around the world, a bright & prosperous future.”

Hundreds of people turned up earlier this month for a Diwali celebration at the de facto Indian embassy. This included cultural performances, food, fireworks, and socializing.

Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) was quoted as saying the annual event showcased the heritage of a "great civilization." He added, "The relations between Taiwan and India have become closer than ever, in every aspect, including science and technology, education, and supply chain resilience."