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Implementation of cross-strait agreement is key: businessmen

2012/08/09 22:23:51

Beijing, Aug. 9 (CNA) Most Taiwanese businessmen are supportive of the cross-strait investment protection agreement that was signed Thursday, but implementation of the agreement by local Chinese authorities is key, Taiwan businessmen said the same day.

Many China-based Taiwanese businessmen have been hoping for the agreement for a long time, and the agreement shows China is willing to treat Taiwanese businessmen fairly, said Chu Feng-chih, the chairwoman of Chunghwa Telecom (China) Co.

The agreement was signed in Taipei between Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits Chairman Chen Yunlin.

In the past, Taiwanese businessmen had no support to turn to when they encountered problems in China, but with the signing of the agreement, they have moved from being "orphans to having someone to look after them,”said Chuang Yu-sung, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises.

Yeh Hui-te, the deputy chairman of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland, noted the agreement offers a number of benefits for Taiwanese businessmen as long as it is fully implemented.

For example, the agreement also includes China-based Taiwan companies that are registered in a third country or area, he said.

In addition, a diverse approach has been introduced in the agreement to resolve disputes between investors and the government that includes negotiation, coordination, mediation, and administrative relief, Yeh said, adding that measures to address conflicts between Taiwanese and Chinese businesspeople have also been included in the agreement.

Moreover, while not included in the agreement, a consensus has been reached to notify families of detained Taiwanese businesspeople within 24 hours, down from the current 48 hours, Yeh noted.

One Taiwan businessman, who declined to be named, believed however that the protection offered by the agreement would be limited.

The businessman said that China's justice system neither follows common law nor continental law systems, and local political forces often influence local judicial procedures.

Although, business disputes can be settled by local courts, if the Chinese partner has strong relations in the area, it can cause troubles for Taiwanese investors, the businessman said.

Many agreements signed by China's central government are considered "regulations in principle," and due to a lack of detailed regulations, local governments hold the right of interpretation, he pointed out.

Against such a backdrop, huge challenges still remain for Beijing to fully implement the measures across China, observers said.

(By Tsai Su-jung, Cheng Chung-sheng, Stanley Cheung, and C.J. Lin)