Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday dismissed concerns about the state of cross-strait relations over the delay of an eighth round of cross-strait negotiations and insisted that a cross-strait investment protection agreement should be signed only after careful consideration so as to protect the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople in China.
The eighth round of cross-strait negotiations, which was scheduled to be held in Taipei this month, has been postponed to next month because of differences over details on the investment protection agreement, Mainland Affairs Council said.
Wu yesterday shrugged off the delay, saying the government’s priority in signing the investment protection agreement was to protect the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople and their families in China.
“It requires careful consideration and negotiations on the details of the agreement, so that we can reach our goal of protecting personal safety and investment rights of Taiwanese businesspeople. We will sign the agreement when we can ensure the protection of their rights,” he said when attending a launch ceremony of a cross-strait foundation in Greater Tainan.
Taiwan and China have reached a general agreement on a deal to protect the personal safety of Taiwanese in China that would require that Chinese authorities inform the foundation and families of Taiwanese businesspeople detained in China for suspected involvement in a crime within 24 hours of their detention.
However, the investment protection deal has been more difficult to achieve, as Taiwan proposed that disputes between Taiwanese investors and the Chinese government should be arbitrated by agencies such as the International Chamber of Commerce.
China wants to treat any disputes as a domestic matter and avoid using international arbitration entities.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday also dismissed concerns about the deadlock in cross-strait negotiations and said the two sides would address more difficult issues in future cross-strait negotiations.
KMT Mainland Affairs Committee Director Kao Hui (高輝) said cross-strait relations would continue to move forward under President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, adding that there was no sign that things were cooling down.
The annual economic and cultural forum between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will be held next month as scheduled, he said.
Wu said the government would continue to push for progress on cross-strait exchanges in various aspects, and promote peace across the Taiwan Strait, so that the two sides can build mutual trust and avoid any misunderstandings that could potentially lead to disputes.