Investment pact with China may be delayed

The China Post news staff

The China Post news staff–Cross-strait talks slated for the end of June to sign an agreement on investment protection may have to be delayed as Taipei and Beijing have yet to trim the difference over some crucial details. The talks between Taipei’s envoy Chiang Pin-kung and his Beijing counterpart Chen Yunlin are scheduled to take place in Taiwan from June 28 to 30, but their meeting may have to be delayed until July. Taipei negotiators are supposed to travel across the Strait this week to make preparations for the Chiang-Chen talks, but they have been unable to depart, still waiting for both sides to iron out the differences. Taipei maintains the need to have a third-party independent arbitrator to handle investment disputes. But the Chinese side has yet to agree.

Speaking on the developments, the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF), which Chiang heads, said the holding of the cross-strait talks will depend on the progress of negotiations between both sides, and it remains to be seen whether there will be a delay. Vice President Wu Den-yih said some details have yet to be finalized for the cross-strait investment protection agreement. He said the most important thing about such an agreement is the protection for Taiwan businesspeople and their investments in China, and how disputes are going to be handled. He said it remains uncertain whether the upcoming talks will be on schedule, or whether the investment protection agreement will be part of it. The Central News Agency said Chiang and Chiang are also supposed to sign a customs agreement in the meeting. Both sides have little dispute over the customs agreement.