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Taiwan investors welcome in mainland
By Xiao Xing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-06-14 22:41

A senior Taiwan affairs official has denied that the mainland is launching a probe into political inclination of Taiwanese business people who do business on the mainland, according to media reports.

Zhang Mingqing, director of the Information Bureau under the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, also assured that the legitimate rights and interests of most of Taiwanese investors will be well protected.

He made the remarks on Sunday while meeting a media delegation from Taiwan in Harbin, capital city of Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.

His comments were the first official reaction to growing worries among Taiwanese business leaders about investing in the mainland after the overseas edition of People's Daily sharply criticized a pro-independence Taiwanese tycoon on May 31.

The newspaper ran a front-page commentary accusing Hsu Wen-lung, founder of Chi Mei Corp., of using profits from his petrochemical and electronics businesses on the mainland to fund pro-independence politicians.

The accusation came a week after Zhang told a regular news conference that the mainland "does not welcome people who make money on the mainland and return to Taiwan to support independence."

Asked to comment on speculation that some local Taiwan affairs offices in South China have started an investigation into politics of Taiwanese investors, Zhang offered his stern denial.

"We will never do such a thing as launching an investigation (into these business people)," he was quoted as telling the Taiwanese delegation by Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV.

The official added that the mainland's criticism targets only a very small number of Taiwanese business people.

"The legitimate rights and interests of most Taiwan business people who have invested in the mainland will be protected and they do not have to worry," Zhang stressed.

The Phoenix TV also cited Hu Xiangding, assistant governor of Heilongjiang, as saying that the provincial government still actively encourages Taiwanese to invest in the province.

Despite political tension across the Taiwan Straits, bilateral economic relations have grown stronger over the past two decades.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce, Taiwanese investors have so far funded more than 70,000 projects on the mainland, with contracted investment of more than US$80 billion.

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