China has outlined for the first time the punishments pending for people deemed to support the independence of Taiwan, the island’s top self-governing official, as tensions soar over what China regards as its own province.
China has not ruled out using force to bring Taiwan under its control, even though the island claims the territory is an independent state that will defend its freedoms and democracy.
The Taiwan Affairs Office described Taiwan Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang, Parliament Speaker You Si-kun and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as “stubborn pro-Taiwan independence”, when announcing for the first time that it had compiled a list of those who belonged to Taiwan. in the pro-independence category.
“China will impose penalties on those on the list by not allowing them to enter the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Regions,” spokesman Zhu Fenglian said in a statement on Friday.
“Those blacklisted persons will not be allowed to cooperate with entities or persons from the mainland, nor will their companies, or entities that fund them, be allowed to profit from the mainland,” he added.
Zhu said the message China wanted to send to Taiwan’s independence supporters was: “Those who forget their ancestors, betray the homeland and divide the country, will never end well, and will be rejected by the people and judged by history.”
In response the Taiwan Mainland Affairs Council rebuked China, saying Taiwan is a democratic society with the rule of law and is not ruled by Beijing.