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China to allow Taiwanese law firms more access to mainland

The China Post news staff -- China plans to accelerate its plan for the reciprocal opening of legal practices on both sides of the Taiwan Strait under the economic cooperation framework agreement signed between China and Taiwan.

The cooperation between law firms and lawyers from the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will not only improve services to people and enterprises but also help establish world-class law firms, said Du Chun, director of the Department of Guidance of the Work of Lawyers and Public Notaries under China's Ministry of Justice.

Du made the remarks yesterday in southern China's Xiamen City at a ceremony in which the National Judicial Examination Office of China presented credentials to candidates from Taiwan who passed the judicial qualification exam in 2010.

Thirty-two of the 47 people from Taiwan who passed the exam attended the event to personally receive their credentials.

Du said the Chinese Ministry of Justice will step up the test program under which law firms based in Taiwan will be allowed to provide legal services in the two designated cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou in Fujian Province.

The ministry will later conduct a further evaluation of the program to decide when and where to extend it to other major cities throughout China, Du said.

He said the judicial agencies and communities on both sides of the Taiwan Strait would set up a more effective platform for interchanges, cooperation and upgrading services by holding more forums in the future.

The closer cooperation between legal firms in the three areas of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong will not only help improve legal services in the Greater China economic community but also create several world-class law firms, Du said.

There were 392 people from Taiwan taking part in the 2010 judicial qualification exam, accounting for only a fraction of the total 350,000 examinees. But only 47 of the Taiwanese candidates passed the exam, by achieving a test score exceeding 360 as required for the credentials.

Over the past three years from 2008 to 2010, a total of 1,583 people from Taiwan took the judicial qualification exam and a total of 140 of them passed the category for lawyers, thus earning the necessary credentials to practice law in China, according to statistics compiled by China's Ministry of Justice.

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