Taiwan officials warned by China for supporting independence as new delegation arrives

China acting 'Mafia-like' over Taiwan claims activist

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Chinese state news agency Xinhua said that those sanctioned by Beijing’s Taiwan affairs office include Hsiao Bi-khim, the de facto Taiwan ambassador to Washington, and Wellington Koo, Secretary-General of Taiwan’s National Security Council. Politicians from Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party were also sanctioned.

A spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office said that those sanctioned would not be able to visit China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Companies and investors related to them will also not be allowed to profit in China.

The seven sanctioned officials are in addition to those who were previously sanctioned by Beijing including Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and parliament Speaker You Si-kun.

It comes after the controversial visit to the island by US House speaker Nancy Pelosi which raised tensions between Beijing and Washington as well as Taipei.

According to Beijing, Ms Pelosi’s visit sent the wrong signal to pro-independence forces in Taiwan.

Beijing claims ownership of the islands arguing they are part of China, a stance the Chinese Communist Party have held since the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

Following the Communist victory the majority of the country formed the People’s Republic of China led by Mao Zedong.

The defeated nationalist KMT forces led by Chiang Kai-shek retreated to Taiwan to form the Republic of China.  

It comes as a US congressional delegation visited Taiwan over the weekend just days after China conducted military drills off Taiwan’s coast in retaliation for Ms Pelosi’s visit.

The five member delegation led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts met President Tsai Ing-wen and attended a banquet hosted by the foreign minister, Joseph Wu according to Taiwan’s foreign ministry.

Democrats Alan Lowenthal of California and Don Beyer of Virginia were also part of the contingent along with Republican representative Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen from American Samoa.

The American Institute in Taiwan said the US lawmakers discussed: “US-Taiwan relations, regional security, trade and investment, global supply chains, climate change, and other significant issues of mutual interest.” 

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Taiwan hailed the visit of the delegation as a sign of continuing close relations between Taipei and Washington.

In a statement, the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Washington’s “friendship” had defied the “threats and intimidation” from Beijing.

They said: “The ministry of foreign affairs expresses its sincere welcome [to the delegation].

“As China is continuing to escalate tensions in the region, the US Congress has again organised a heavyweight delegation to visit Taiwan, showing a friendship that is not afraid of China’s threats and intimidation, and highlighting the US’s strong support towards Taiwan.”

China’s embassy in Washington said on Sunday that embers of the US Congress should act in consistence with the US government’s one-China policy” arguing the visit “once again proves that the US does not want to see stability across the Taiwan strait and has spared no effort to stir up confrontation between the two sides and interfere in China’s internal affairs”.

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