Taiwanese Investors Suffer Rough Treatment in China

May 18, 2011 Last Updated: May 19, 2011

Taiwanese businessmen are routinely abused, have their investments stolen, and are afforded few legal protections when doing business in mainland China, according to investors themselves and researchers of the topic.

They say the situation has remained unchanged for over a decade, with little political will on the Taiwanese side to rock the boat.

Luo Huai-jia, deputy secretary-General of Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association, and lawyer Li Nianzu, spoke at a Cross-Strait Trade and Cultural Forum held on May 8 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, elaborating on the treacherous business environment Taiwanese entrepreneurs endure in China.

Luo said that, according to data supplied by the Straits Exchange Foundation, among Taiwanese investors in mainland China, 104 were killed, 404 went missing, and 789 were robbed or kidnapped. The Epoch Times could not verify these figures.

He said the total number of deceased and injured amounts to 2,295, and urged the signing of a cross-strait investment protection agreement as soon as possible. The agreement, he says, should benefit citizens on both sides and ensure protection of the life and property of Taiwanese investors in mainland China.

Taiwanese investor Zhao Shujian said that he was the first to invest in Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province. He was defrauded 10 million yuan, he says, but can’t get anyone to take an interest in his case. Taiwanese investors will eventually lose interest in mainland China if it goes on, he said.

According to media reports, Taiwanese investors have been scammed numerous times. In January 2008 Taiwanese investor Chen Yunhuo was encouraged by mainland central and local government officials in Xiamen to invest in real estate. He invested more than 40 million yuan (US$6.16 million), but was cheated, losing his entire investment, he said.

Taiwanese billionaire Wu Chen-shun carried with him US$100 million to invest in Qingdao, China. Not only was he robbed of the money but he was also illegally detained in prison for seven months on false charges, he said. In the end he lost a decade of accumulated wealth, as reported by Sound of Hope Radio in July 2008.

The Central News Agency reported in March 2009 that well known Puerh tea manufacturer in Tainan City, Chen Junliang, recorded his complaint with the Tainan City Police Department alleging a Chinese tea merchant of colluding with Customs officers to cheat him of more than NT$20 million (US$700,000) of tea and tea sets. He said that cheating tea merchants is common.

In 2002 Taiwanese investor Li Zhisheng published the book “Escaping from Mainland China,” which revealed a string of similar cases of abuses against Taiwanese businessmen in mainland China. He called it the “tragic history of Taiwanese Investors.”

He cited the case of Taiwanese investor Huang Nantu, who invested more than 10 million yuan in Chengdu. Not only did he lose all of his investment, he had to spend another five million yuan to rescue the trapped workers at his factory, according to Li’s account.

Kao Weipang, the chairman of Victims of Investment in China Association said, “The victims are not just the dozens that stand out, but actually tens of thousands of Taiwanese investors. You must face the issue in order to resolve it, but both the KMT (Kuomintang) and the Democratic Progressive Party are trying to avoid this issue.”

Read the original Chinese article .