China to hold Taiwan independence supporters criminally liable for life

This is the first time that China has spelt out concretely punishment for people deemed to be pro-Taiwan independence.

 CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping during a show commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the National Stadium in Beijing in June. (photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)
CHINESE PRESIDENT Xi Jinping during a show commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China at the National Stadium in Beijing in June.
(photo credit: THOMAS PETER/REUTERS)

China will make people who support Taiwan independence criminally liable for life, a spokeswoman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office said on Friday.

This is the first time that China has spelt out concretely punishment for people deemed to be pro-Taiwan independence, as tensions rise between the mainland and the self-ruled island China claims as its own.

The office named Taiwan's Premier Su Tseng-chang, Parliament Speaker You Si-kun and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu as people who are "stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence," and made public for the first time it has drawn up a list of people who fall into this category.

China will enforce punishment on the people on the list, by not letting them enter the mainland and China's Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau, said spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian in a statement on Friday.

The blacklisted people will not be allowed to cooperate with entities or people from the mainland, nor will their companies or entities who fund them be allowed to profit from the mainland, she said.

Honor guards perform Taiwan national flag lowering ceremony at Liberty Square in Taipei, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Taipei, Taiwan, April 1, 2020. (credit: REUTERS)Honor guards perform Taiwan national flag lowering ceremony at Liberty Square in Taipei, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Taipei, Taiwan, April 1, 2020. (credit: REUTERS)

Taiwanese politicians partially rely on donations from companies to fund their election campaigns. Many Taiwanese companies derive profits from doing business with the mainland. Tens of thousands of Taiwanese currently work in the mainland.

China will also take "any other necessary measures" against these people, Zhu said.

She said the message China wants to send to supporters of Taiwan independence is: "Those who forget their ancestors, betray the motherland and split the country, will never end up well and will be spurned by the people and judged by history."

Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment.