First dispute resolution center for Taiwan-related maritime disputes established in Xiamen
Published: Nov 10, 2023 11:31 AM
Mainlanders point to the Kinmen Islands from a beach in Xiamen,Fujian Province.Photo; VCG

Mainlanders point to the Kinmen Islands from a beach in Xiamen,Fujian Province.Photo; VCG

The first dispute resolution center on the mainland for Taiwan-related maritime disputes has been established in Xiamen of East China’s Fujian Province, allowing Fujian to be the first home for Taiwan compatriots and Taiwan-funded enterprises, and exploring the innovation on maritime legal services related to the island of Taiwan, according to information from the Fujian Maritime Bureau.

Titled "Fujian Maritime Dispute Resolution Center for Taiwan-related Matters," the center was established by 11 governmental departments and industry associations including the Xiamen Maritime Bureau, Xiamen Maritime Court, Xiamen Judicial Bureau, Xiamen Arbitration Commission, Seafarers' Association, and Silk Road Shipping Alliance. The office of the center is located in the public legal service center of the Xiamen section of the Maritime Silk Road Central Legal Affairs Zone. 

Chen Gu, deputy director of the Xiamen Maritime Bureau, said the center will play the role of administrative, judicial, arbitration, mediation and insurance. It will also focus on disputes related to seafarers' rights, overwater accidents, salvage of sunken ships, compensation for personal injuries in maritime passenger transport, port construction and operations, and new forms of Taiwan-related business, providing "one-stop" legal services such as maritime legal consultation, public legal education, and dispute resolution for Taiwan compatriots and Taiwan-funded enterprises. 

Wu Zhan, director of the safety management department of the Fujian Maritime Bureau, said that the center will also explore and innovate maritime legal services related to the island of Taiwan, promote the establishment of a diversified dispute resolution mechanism for Taiwan-related maritime affairs, enrich the practical experience of public legal services related to the island, provide legal guarantees for cross-Straits economic and trade exchanges and personnel exchanges, and enhance the sense of legal security for Taiwan compatriots and Taiwan-funded enterprises.

The center will also help Fujian explore a new path of integrated development across the Taiwan Straits and build a demonstration zone for integrated development across the Straits, said Wu. 

There are currently 27 Taiwan-funded shipping companies and Taiwan-related crew dispatching agencies registered in Fujian Province, with over 10,000 mainland crew members dispatched to Taiwan-funded shipping companies every year; there are 35 cross-Straits direct shipping companies and 58 operating vessels in the province, with an average of about 800 direct shipping voyages for freight transportation per year, with a freight volume of over 5 million tons, and over 10 Taiwan-related maritime accidents investigated. 

In addition, Fujian Province has the first maritime court for Taiwan-related maritime trials on the mainland, which has accepted about 700 cases of various Taiwan-related maritime disputes in the past three years, with a total amount of about 1.4 billion yuan.

Global Times