Ahead of the eighth round of cross-strait talks on Thursday, Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday called on China to pay more attention to the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople in China as both sides of the Taiwan Strait continue to seek closer economic ties.
“Mainland China should show its sincerity when signing the cross-strait investment protection agreement and offer a more comprehensive plan in terms of protection of Taiwanese businessmen’s personal safety and investment rights,” he said while speaking at a cross-strait forum in Taipei.
The cross-strait negotiations between the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) is to be held in Taipei on Thursday. An investment protection agreement and a customs cooperation agreement are expected to be signed during the meeting.
Wu said the two sides should continue to seek cross-strait exchanges reciprocally and insisted that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would keep his promise of banning Chinese labor in Taiwan.
“The two sides should work together to create a win-win situation. We welcome Chinese investments in Taiwan. On the other hand, we expect the mainland to treat Taiwanese businessmen well,” he said.
MAC Chairperson Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) said the signing of the investment protection agreement and customs cooperation agreement demonstrate the efforts from the two sides to promote follow-up negotiation on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) and deepen cross-strait relations.
“Tens of thousands of Taiwanese businessmen in China have been waiting for the implementation of the investment protection agreement. It will protect the rights of Taiwanese businessmen, and also Chinese businessmen in Taiwan. The agreement is not a cure-all, but it’s a crucial basis for the protection of Taiwanese businessmen and Chinese businessmen alike,” she said.
The investment protection deal has proved more difficult to negotiate because Taiwan has proposed that disputes between Taiwanese investors and the Chinese government should be arbitrated by an agency such as the International Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement, which is scheduled to be signed during the cross-strait talks, is to address issues including a dispute-solving mechanism, investors’ personal freedom and personal safety, and a transparent and reasonable compensation system.
ARATS Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清), on the other hand, expressed concerns about the limitations Chinese investors face in Taiwan, including investment items and basic structures, calling for a better investment environment in the country.