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Taipei-Hanoi mediation will be scheduled twice a month

TAIPEI -- Taiwan and Vietnam are scheduled to hold regular joint mediation sessions twice a month to tackle the issue of compensation for damages suffered by Taiwanese businesses during last month's anti-Chinese riots, a Taiwanese economics official said Friday.

“In the initial stage, we'd like to hold such meetings more frequently to help Taiwanese businesses convey their needs,” said Lien Yu-ping (連玉蘋), director general of the Department of Investment Services under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (經濟部).

The first mediation commission meeting took place Wednesday, and “some of our demands have been met,” she said during a break at a press conference in Taipei.

Deputy Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) will serve as the leader of Taiwan's cross-ministry delegation to meet his counterpart, Dang Huy Dong (杜一皇), Vietnam's vice minister of Planning and Investment.

The two sides will set up task forces to focus on wages and labor; taxes and tariffs; loan and finance; insurance; and security.

The date of the second meeting has not yet been confirmed, Lien said.

The riots erupted May 13 after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest against a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that is also claimed by Hanoi.

Taiwanese businessmen said Friday that the protests had been hijacked by anti government rioters seeking to hurt Vietnam's economy and were not specifically targeted at ethnic Chinese people.

The riots in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria Vung Tau along with Ho Chi Minh City affected 425 Taiwan-invested establishments, 25 of which were seriously damaged. Total cumulative losses are estimated to range between US$150 million and US$500 million, with consequential damages estimated to reach US$1 billion.

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