Tue, Jun 24, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Businesspeople urge oversight

HOSTILE ENVIROMENT?An association said Taiwanese businesspeople encounter oppression from Beijing while doing business in China and their rights are often violated

By Peng Hsien-chung and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taiwanese Businessmen Victims Association called on China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) Director Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) to see that Beijing strictly adheres to the cross-strait Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement (海峽兩岸投資保障和促進協議) and said they would shadow Zhang when he visits Taiwan to make sure their point gets across.

The agreement is part of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in 2010.

It was a clarification on definition of investors, the conditional approach of investment, guarantees on safety and individual freedom of investors, transparent and logical appropriation of property and compensation, and the availability of multiple channels of solutions.

The association said many Taiwanese businesspeople have been oppressed by Beijing and that their rights were violated.

The association called on Beijing to implement protection policies, adding that it has prepared 18 skits to show Zhang when they shadow him.

The association cited the Huan Yu Group case in 2008 as an example of how the Chinese government oppressed Taiwanese businesspeople.

According to media Web site New Talk, the Huan Yu Group was founded by several Taiwanese businesspeople along with Singaporean businessman Wu Zhenshun (吳振順). One of the more prominent members is the brother of a former legislator surnamed Tsai (蔡).

The company had begun to develop the Binhai District (濱海) after signing contracts on land investment and development with the Qingdao City government in Shandong Province in 1993, and by 1998 they had acquired the rights to develop 105,323.3m2 of land, the report said.

The report quoted company spokesman Huang Yueh-chao (黃越超) as saying the company had invested US$100 million to US$200 million on 503 hectares of land in 2003, which is about 100 million yuan, the equivalent of NT$50 billion in market value at the time.

However, the company complained that since 2001 the Qingdao City assistant, doubling as Laoshan District (嶗山) secretary-general, Wang Yan (王雁) had sold off 165 hectares of land in the area, while in 2003 a tract of land worth about 500 million yuan had been sold to Qingdao Sage Group in a directional bidding for only 39.8 million yuan, the report said.

Huang said that they had asked then-secretary-general of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) to mediate in the dispute.

While the Shandong Provincial Government had signed a contact promising to recompense the group for 1 billion yuan last year, after paying 500 million yuan it reneged on the contract, invoking debtor’s right on the remaining 500 million yuan through a state-owned corporation, according to the report.

The report quoted Huang as saying that Wu had also been arrested on May 18, 2004, after some sources reported to Beijing that he had a small army that were within 10 minutes of Beijing.

Although Wu was eventually released without charges, the company’s holdings had been put on sale by the local government, the report quoted Huang as saying.

Nearly two years after the investment protection agreement has been signed, and the Chinese government official in question is on the death row, the company has only received 5 percent, or NT$2.5 billion, of the total of NT$50 billion invested in the venture in compensation, the report said.

Although Article 3 in the agreement states that actions “should be in accordance with fairness, non-discriminatory, and just legal proceedings,” it is evident that Chinese local governments are completely disregarding the implementation of the agreement, Huang said in the report.

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