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Bridging the trust gap over Taiwan Straits

By Tan Zongyang (China Daily)

08:08, March 22, 2012

Chen Longfeng (fourth from right), a Taiwan businessman in Zhangzhou, Fujian province, mediates a case. Chen was hired by a local court to mediate disputes involving Taiwan businesses who have investments in the local community. (Photo from China Daily)

After living for 20 years in Zhangzhou, in East China's Fujian province, Taiwan businessman Harrison Yang has found his schedule become even tight since he became a mediator who helps resolve legal disputes.

Yang, founder and general manager of Long Grace Industry, a sportswear maker in Zhangzhou's Xiangcheng district, was hired three years ago by the district court as a special mediator. Besides managing his company, he mediates disputes involving any Taiwan businesses who, like him, has investments in the local community.

Zhangzhou now has more than 2,600 enterprises with investment from the island. Despite his high caseload, almost a case a week, Yang said he is only too happy to serve as a mediator.

"It's a pleasure to give legal advice to fellow Taiwan businessmen about local laws and regulations, and to figure out ways to solve conflicts, in a peaceful settlement, instead of going to the court."

In 2009, Yang was one of the first Taiwan businessmen employed by the local courts to mediate in civil and commercial cases in Zhangzhou. It was a pioneering initiative at that time.

"We took this approach to better protect the legal rights of Taiwan businessmen who might not be familiar with the legal system on the mainland," said Huang Jinghui, vice-president of the Zhangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

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