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Statement on safety of Taiwan investors is binding: China official

2012/08/09 19:45:50

Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) A Chinese official assured Taiwan on Thursday that a joint statement issued on the personal safety of Taiwanese investors in China is binding, following concerns the issue was not included in an investment protection pact signed the same day.

According to the statement, issued by Taiwan's Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS), if Taiwanese investors are arrested in China, their family members will be notified of their whereabouts within 24 hours of their arrest, said ARATS Vice President Zheng Lizhong.

Some exceptions exist, however, as China's newly amended criminal litigation law stipulates that authorities do not need to inform family members of arrests of suspects involved in national security and terrorist acts, Zheng added.

Despite the limitation, Taiwanese officials said they would continue using the Cross-Strait Agreement on Joint Crime-Fighting and Judicial Mutual Assistance signed in 2009 to accelerate the speed of notification.

The 2009 agreement stipulates that cross-Taiwan Strait authorities should inform each other "immediately" should any arrest on criminal charges occur.

"The statement we signed today indicates 'regulations in principle'," Zheng said, adding that it is appropriate for such consensus to be put into a separate document because its implementation is less relevant to the investment protection pact.

Meanwhile, Zheng said he is confident that Taiwanese investors will not commit crimes that concern China's national security amid warming cross-strait ties.

Even if there are such incidents, he said, the ARATS will handle the situation case-by-case to assure the rights of Taiwanese businesspeople.

The joint statement, an investment pact and a cross-strait customs cooperation agreement were signed at talks between SEF Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and his Chinese counterpart, ARATS President Chen Yunlin.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)