Business as usual during Chiang-Chen talks: Taichung authorities
Central News Agency
2009-12-08 05:22 PM
Taipei, Dec. 8 (CNA) The Taichung City government denied on Tuesday reports that it has advised businesses to suspend operations during the talks between Taiwan and China that will take place later this month in the city.

According to Taichung Deputy Mayor Hsiao Chia-chi, although police are planning to set up a restricted zone covering a 50-meter radius from the venue to facilitate security, all businesses and schools located in the area will operate as usual.

The fourth round of talks between the chief cross-strait negotiators -- Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung and Beijing-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits (ARATS) President Chen Yunlin -- is likely to be held at the Windsor Hotel Taichung.

With pro-independence groups led by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party having announced their plans to hold protests during the event, the Chinese-language Liberty Times reported Tuesday that in anticipation of possible disorder and riots, the city's police have advised businesses located near the venue to suspend operations to ensure their security.

Yu Hui-mao, deputy director-general of the Taichung City Police Bureau, clarified that police have informed local businesses of possible situations that could occur but has not asked them to suspend operations.

Pointing out that Zhonggang Road, where the Windsor Hotel is located, is one of the city's busiest roads, Yu said the police are responsible for adopting proper measures to protect the rights of road users and local residents.

It is also the police department's responsibility to provide the public with the necessary information to help them better prepare for possible scenarios, he said.

Hsiao, meanwhile, said the city government welcomes any protests that are legal, peaceful and non-violent.

However, if there are any disruptions of public order, the city government will take the necessary steps against lawbreakers, he said.

(By Hao Hsueh-chin and Y.F. Low)

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