A group of China-based Taiwanese businesspeople yesterday said they had received threats from the Chinese government that it would send agents to Taipei to investigate and that it would retaliate if they proceed with a planned protest against Beijing on Monday.
The demonstration in Taipei will be the third this month organized by businesspeople who say they lost their investments in China because of illegal seizure by either their Chinese partners or officials. The protests aim to highlight the Chinese and Taiwanese governments’ neglect of their plight, the group said.
Huang Hsi-tsung (黃錫聰), who returned from China’s Fujian Province after losing more than 10 million yuan (US$1.5 million) in investment, said he had received a threatening phone call on Wednesday from Zhang Jiwei (張繼偉), an official of the People’s Procuratorate of the Province of Fujian.
“He told me that agents would be sent to Taipei to collect information, and if we said or did anything inappropriate, they would definitely retaliate and seek revenge,” said Huang, one of the organizers of Monday’s protest.
Huang said Zhang told him that, because of his behavior, Beijing’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) had dropped his investment case, which was subsequently confirmed by a follow-up call to the TAO by Huang.
“Let there be no doubt that, if I’m listed as missing in the future, it will be an act of retaliation carried out by none other than the People’s Procuratorate of the Province of Fujian,” Huang told the press conference, which was hosted by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus.
“Chinese officials have threatened to send people to Taipei to investigate a legal assembly ... This is an infringement of Taiwan’s sovereignty and democracy, as well as a matter of public power and national integrity,” DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.
“All Chinese agents, if they do enter Taiwanese territory, should be deported immediately,” Tsai added.
The Constitution protects people’s right to assembly and to stage protests, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) said, adding “even the simple thought of Chinese officials making threats to investigate participants in a protest is unthinkable.”
Shen Po-sheng (沈柏勝), who organized the last two protests since returning to Taiwan on July 2 after fighting a losing battle to recover his assets in China for 20 years, accused TAO spokesperson Fan Liqing (范麗青) of lying.
Fan on Wednesday said Shen’s protests were politically motivated and that 85.4 percent of the 28,215 cases filed by Taiwanese businesspeople from 2000 to last year had been resolved.
Shen was a rare case among Taiwanese businesspeople involved in disputes in China in that he received compensation from the Chinese government. However, he did not receive a reimbursement of 16 million yuan — less than one-tenth of his initial investment of 180 million yuan — until his attempted suicide in Tiananman Square in May 2009 caught the attention of the Chinese central government.
“The only political force behind me is the Chinese Communist Party. The party warned me against any criticism and threatened retaliation,” Shen said.
Asked for comments about China threatening to send agents to Taipei to monitor Taiwanese businesspeople, Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said there are rules that regulate Chinese visits to Taiwan and it would be impossible for such individuals to come to Taiwan.