Tue, Jun 05, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Pact to protect Taiwan’s businesspeople

Staff writer, with CNA

A long-awaited cross-strait investment protection pact will enhance protection for Taiwanese businesspeople in China, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said yesterday.

Lai said the Taiwanese negotiating team has “solicited more protection for Taiwanese businesspeople than is currently accorded to them by the mainland” in talks with China.

Lai made the remarks while reporting to the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee on issues to be covered in the next round of cross-strait talks, which are expected to take place in Taiwan this month, although the exact date has not been disclosed.

As an example, she said the definition of “investors” would be expanded. Current investment protection agreements generally apply to those who invest directly on each side and do not include those who invest in China via a third country or area.

“In view of the fact that a lot of Taiwanese businesspeople invest in the mainland through third places, both sides have agreed to include them to better protect their rights,” Lai said.

She added that investment agreements usually do not cover personal freedom and safety, but because these are pressing issues for Taiwanese businesspeople in China, the two sides have agreed to step up protection in this regard.

As for resolving trade disputes, Lai said the negotiators have solicited several resolution mechanisms — including government-to-government, private-to-government and private-to-private.

She said about 65 percent of the disputes faced by Taiwanese businesspeople in China are private-to-private cases. Both sides have agreed to incorporate this arbitration mechanism, she said.

Lai added that during the upcoming cross-strait talks, the Republic of China (ROC) flag “will remain where it should be and will not be removed.”

She said that talks are not aimed at sovereignty disputes, and that the hoisting of the ROC flag should therefore not be a problem.

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