Taipei slams Chinese sanctions on Taiwan politicians after US visits

Taipei, Taiwan - China on Tuesday said it is imposing sanctions on seven Taiwanese political figures who it described as "independence diehards," further pressing the self-ruled democracy amid increased tensions following a US official visit to Taipei.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen meets US Senator Ed Markey at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen meets US Senator Ed Markey at the presidential office in Taipei, Taiwan.  © REUTERS

The seven Taiwan politicians and their family members will not be allowed to enter mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Those affected will be also forbidden from doing business or forging cooperation with Chinese organizations and individuals, China's state news agency Xinhua reported.

The sanctions came after recent visits of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a congressional delegation led by Senator Ed Markey to Taipei this month, which caused China's ire.

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Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949, but China considers the island part of its territory. Beijing rejects official contacts between other countries and Taipei.

Those affected by the retaliatory sanctions include Taiwan's top US diplomat Hsiao Bi-khim, Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang, and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s leading figures, such as Ker Chien-Ming and Lin Fei-fan, among others.

In November, Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, and Foreign Minister Jaushieh Joseph Wu were put on the sanctions list.

Taiwan's ruling party calls Chinese sanctions "meaningless"

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called Beijing’s imposing sanctions on Taiwanese people meaningless, saying it aims to create chilling effects in Taiwan.

"Taiwanese people are not afraid to be intimidated and threatened. Taiwanese people’s determination to defend democracy and soverignty won’t be frayed. They will not give in," the DPP said in a Tuesday statement.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan's government agency on policy dealings with Beijing, on Tuesday said China's imposing such sanctions lacks legitimacy and violates Taiwanese people's will.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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