BEIJING, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Experts from the Chinese mainland and Taiwan
have hailed the fresh judicial ties between the two sides, saying the joint
efforts to fight crimes will be comprehensive, direct and thorough to safeguard
harmony across the Taiwan Strait.
Top negotiators from the mainland and Taiwan reached a consensus Sunday on
mutual judicial assistance in an attempt to crack down on severe crimes such as
murder, smuggling, human trafficking, terrorist activities, among others.
"The agreement, which covers the entire judicial process of civil and
commercial law and the criminal law, was the first comprehensive one between
judicial authorities of the mainland and Taiwan," Wang Zhenmin, head of the Law
School of the prestigious Tsinghua University, told Xinhua Sunday.
"The agreement came at a time after mutual trust and understanding between
the two sides had risen to a high level," said Wang, adding that it will
protect, promote and regulate the exchanges in economy, civil affairs and other
Cross-Strait exchanges have seen development since July 1988 when the State
Council, the Chinese Cabinet, issued regulations encouraging Taiwan compatriots
to invest in the mainland.
However, judicial authorities from the two sides didn't have a cooperative
mechanism, which created chances for criminal suspects to escape and hide in the
Some cross-Strait criminal groups even took advantage of the judicial
loopholes to commit human trafficking, drug selling, money laundering, smuggling
and other severe crimes.
Under the Kinmen Agreement signed between Red Cross organizations across
the Taiwan Strait in September 1990, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan had
returned to the other side 38,936 criminals, criminal suspects and people guilty
of illegal entry as of January 2007.
However, according to professor Wang Zhenmin, the Kinmen Agreement was
limited to the handover of suspects, and such a practice had to be conducted
through nongovernmental organizations-- without direct cooperation between the
two sides' judicial authorities.
Other difficulties in collecting evidences and execution were also
prevalent when dealing with cross-Strait crimes. Joint police action was rare.
According to the new agreement, the two sides will exchange crime-related
information and help each other investigate cases and collect evidence. Each
side is also responsible for helping the other to identify witnesses, seize and
repatriate criminals and suspects.
In addition, both sides are responsible to report key information to the
other party, such as information on the detention of each other's suspects and
details in the event of a non-disease-related death. Each side should also offer
convenience for family members to visit such suspects.
"In recent years, Taiwan people have shown great concern over how the
island authorities manage corruption, fraud and other severe economic crimes,"
Hsu Wen-pin, a renowned Taiwan lawyer and an expert on cross-Strait judicial
systems, told Xinhua Sunday.
Hsu said the agreement extended the cross-Strait crackdown to economic
field from mere criminal activities, which accords with Taiwan people's
Other major crimes listed for the joint crackdown include robbery,
hijacking and economic wrongdoing, such as money laundering and falsifying
currencies and securities.
Previous reports said a survey conducted by the Taiwan-based mainland
affairs committee show that 79.6 percent of 1,132 respondents favored the
Xu Bodong, an expert on Taiwan affairs and also professor of the Beijing
Union University, said the agreement, which sets up institutionalized
regulations on the judicial collaboration, indicates a significant transition
for mainland-Taiwan relations.
"The agreement doesn't involve any political issues, so it can be applied
under any circumstances," said Xu.