The Taiwan Office of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party announced on Tuesday sanctions against those it describes as “Taiwanese separatist fanatics”, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The decision comes a day after the second visit to the island by US congressmen in less than a month.
Among the people sanctioned are the vice president of the Legislative Assembly of Taiwan, Tsai Chi-chang, activists such as Lin Fei-fan and other members of the Democratic Progressive Party (ruler on the island) such as Bi-khim Hsiao, Wang Ting-yu and Koo Li-hsiung. These people thus join a list that already included, among others, the current foreign minister of Taiwan, Joseph Wu.
Those sanctioned and their close family members will be barred from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, and their companies and organizations will not be allowed to conduct economic activities in mainland China. According to a spokesman for the Office quoted by Xinhua, those sanctioned will have to “be accountable to the law for life.”
The party has claimed that “some fanatic Taiwanese separatists have gone to great lengths to collude with foreign forces to advocate Taiwan independence,” behavior that became “more egregious” during the US House Speaker’s trip. , Nancy Pelosi, to the island earlier this month.
China responded to the trip with military maneuvers around the island and with trade sanctions on some Taiwanese products, as well as on Pelosi herself and her close relatives. Shortly after the US politician’s visit, Chinese authorities arrested a Taiwanese citizen living in the eastern Chinese city of Wenzhou for his alleged involvement in “separatist activities.”
On Monday, another US congressional delegation visited Taiwan on an unannounced trip. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through its spokesman Wang Wenbin, described the trip as an interference by the US “in the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Asian country. The Ministry spokesman assured in turn that this trip is equivalent to “ignoring” the “protests and firm opposition” by China to the United States for Pelosi’s previous visit this month. On Monday, Beijing resumed military exercises after a four-day break.
China insists on “reunifying” the People’s Republic with the island, which has been governed autonomously since the Kuomintang (KMT) nationalists withdrew there in 1949 after losing the civil war against the communists. In the 1990s, Taiwan completed the transition to democracy.