Tue, Feb 17, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Businessmen say China abuses them

CNA , TAIPEI

Several Taiwanese businessmen who work in China condemned the Chinese authorities yesterday for apparently condoning crimes against them.

The businessmen spoke of their tribulations at a news conference held at the Legislative Yuan by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Ching-fang (張清芳).

They said China was a country rife with obscure laws and many well-intended Taiwanese business-people had seen their investments stolen or confiscated. They appealed to the Chinese government to address cases involving Taiwanese with fairness and impartiality.

At the news conference, Lin Chih-sheng (林志昇) said that he invested a great deal of money in 1993 to build four schools in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province. Before 2000, the authorities in Chengdu declared the buildings illegal and confiscated them all.

Then, Lin said, one day in 2001, several gangsters came to his home and tried to kidnap him. He escaped and reported the incident to local public security authorities who decided that the way to protect him was to detain him for 15 days.

Lin said he fled from Chengdu to Xiamen in Fujian Province in 2002 and from Xiamen he paid human traffickers to have him smuggled to Kinmen.

Another businessman, Pao Yang-bo (鮑揚波), said he invested some NT$200 million in real estate developments in Chongqing in 1996. The investment was stolen by a group of locals. He filed a lawsuit against the group and won; however, the court has still not executed the judgment.

Kao Wei-pang (高為邦) said that he invested and operated a manufacturing plant in Yenjiao, Hebei Province. One of his local employees forged Kao's signature on guarantee documents that were used to fraudulently obtain a large loan.

Kao said that the incident happened more than five years ago but the suspect is still at large while the bank continues to press him to repay the money that was embezzled.

Voicing support for the Taiwan-ese businesspeople, Chang said that more than 1,000 Taiwanese had filed appeals to the Mainland Affairs Council for help after they had been conned, kidnapped or arrested in China.

Noting that the actual number of Taiwanese who had been taken advantage of in China could exceed 3,000, Chang called for the Chinese authorities to demonstrate some respect for the law and help do justice to the Taiwanese businesspeople who had made numerous contributions to China's society.

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