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MAC seeks better protection of Taiwan business people in China pact

2012/05/07 20:29:45

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Monday it will aim for better terms to protect the safety of Taiwanese business people in China in an investment protection pact that the two sides plan to sign in a meeting in June.

Lai Shin-yuan, head of the council, said in a legislative session that she is "very confident" that the signing of the agreement will offer Taiwanese business people more protection in China.

Lai was asked to report on the government's response to cases of human rights violations in China since 2008 and the possibility of including human rights clauses in cross-Taiwan Strait agreements.

She said measures regarding the reporting of cases involving the personal safety of Taiwanese business people "should be included in the agreement," adding that her council will represent these people's concerns during the negotiation of the pact.

Meanwhile, ruling Kuomintang Legislator Wu Yu-sheng expressed concern that the rights of Taiwanese business people were not fully guaranteed even after China revised its Criminal Procedure Law on March 14.

Even though the revised law requires that the family of a detained person be notified within 24 hours after his or her detention, Wu said exceptions can still be made "in circumstances where such notification would hinder the investigation or there is no way of notifying them."

In response, Kao Koong-lian, deputy chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation, said Taiwan has discussed with China the possibility of excluding Taiwanese business people from the two exceptions, but he declined to respond to a question about whether any breakthroughs can be expected.

Lai, on the other hand, said her council "hopes to accomplish this goal" in the eighth round of top-level talks between the two sides scheduled in June.

The talks between Chiang Pin-kung, chairman of Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation, and Chen Yunlin, president of China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits, are expected to seal an investment protection pact and customs cooperation agreement.

Taiwan is pushing for the investment pact because it wants to protect its business people in China, who can be vulnerable in disputes with local governments over land rights and compensation claims.

(By Christie Chen)