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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Bridging the trust gap over Taiwan Straits (2)

By Tan Zongyang (China Daily)

08:09, March 22, 2012

"We also try to win their confidence in our legal system and add more transparency in our judicial procedures by mediators from Taiwan."

Huang said that to be eligible for the job, a candidate should have lived in Zhangzhou for more than five years, have a good reputation, adequate social experience and some knowledge of law on the mainland.

"Most are elderly people who are highly regarded and influential among the Taiwan people in the community, such as the head of Taiwan businessmen associations," he said.

Fujian province, the closest place on the mainland to Taiwan, has hired 139 Taiwan compatriots so far to be the local courts' special mediators.

Other provinces and regions where many Taiwan people have set up businesses have followed Fujian's initiative. Twenty-six such mediators have been hired in East China's Jiangsu province, and nine in North China's Tianjin municipality, according to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.

Huang said the policy works effectively to help reduce the number of court cases and alleviate conflicts between Taiwan businessmen and local residents. Seventy percent of lawsuits were withdrawn through mediation.

In 2010, a Taiwan merchant rented land from the local government in a village in Zhangpu county to grow vegetables. The villagers, who collectively own the land, later wanted its use restored to them before the contact expired because the price of vegetables had gone up.

It was through the persuasion of a local mediator, a businessman from Taiwan, that the merchant from Taiwan conceded and dropped a lawsuit against the local government.

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