Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has slammed China for blacklisting Taiwan’s representative to the United States Hsiao Bi-khim and six others, saying its attempt to intimidate Taiwan activists would only prove to be counterproductive.
China has no authority to dictate to Taiwan because Taiwan is a democratic country upholding the rule of law and will never yield to intimidation and threats exerted by an authoritarian regime, MOFA spokesperson Joanne Ou said Tuesday.
China’s Xinhua News Agency reported earlier Tuesday that the Taiwan Work Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee has imposed sanctions against Hsiao and people on China’s list of “stubborn Taiwan independence separatists.”
According to Xinhua, Hsiao, Taiwan’s National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo, deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming, DPP deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan, DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu and Lawmaker Chen Jiau-hua of the New Power Party have been added to the list.
Premier Su Tseng-chang, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun and Foreign minister Joseph Wu have been on the list since it was first made public in November 2021.
The individuals on the list and their family members are banned from entering China, Hong Kong and Macao, Xinhua reported.
In addition, their affiliated institutions are restricted from cooperating with related organisations and individuals in China, and enterprises related to them cannot engage in business activities in China, according to Xinhua.
The individuals have gone to great lengths to “collude with external forces” in provocations advocating Taiwan independence and posed a grave danger to the Chinese national rejuvenation, Xinhua quoted a spokesperson of the office as saying.
The move was the latest in China’s pressure campaign against Taiwan following the visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier this month that has also included nearly a week of intensive military drills encircling Taiwan and trade sanctions.
Ou responded by saying Beijing is “in no position” to comment on Taiwan’s international engagements.
China’s intent to deter people from speaking in support of Taiwan by targeting Taiwan’s politicians and opinion leaders who have worked to enhance Taiwan’s visibility internationally would only backfire because it will foster resentment among Taiwanese against China, Ou said.
Meanwhile, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said the sanctions were “illegal” and “ineffective” because Taiwan and China are not under each other’s jurisdiction.
The council said that the government will respond to the sanctions China imposed on Taiwan with “necessary measures in a timely manner” to prevent adverse effects and to ensure national security and the interests of the people.
In a Facebook Post, DPP’s Lin said he felt “honored” to be sanctioned by an authoritarian regime, adding that he considered it as a “medal of being part of a free world.”
When the news came out, many of his friends with foreign media outlets, diplomatic corps, and think tanks sent him messages to congratulate him for that, Lin said.