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China: ‘We will sanction Taiwan's Representative to the US for life’

China: ‘We will sanction Taiwan's Representative to the US for life’

Posted April. 08, 2023 07:57,   

Updated April. 08, 2023 07:57


China announced it would impose permanent sanctions on Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan's Representative to the United States, on Friday in its first retaliation after Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met in the U.S. on Wednesday (local time). Since Taiwan does not have a separate ambassador to the U.S., Hsiao serves as the de facto ambassador.

According to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency, the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee said in a statement that it strictly barred Hsiao and her family from entering Hong Kong and Macau, let alone mainland China, for life. It also prevented companies affiliated with Representative Hsiao from collaborating with organizations or individuals in mainland China. Hsiao tweeted after her sanctions were announced, “Wow, this is the second time the PRC (People's Republic of China) has imposed sanctions on me (following the sanctions imposed after then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August of last year).”

“Representative Hsiao, who insists on Taiwan’s independence, is relying on the United States to promote independence, instigating cross-strait conflict and intentionally undermining peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” The Taiwan Work Office said. “We have decided to hold [Representative Hsiao] accountable for life under the law by taking all necessary disciplinary measures.” However, Voice of America analyzed that China's sanctions this time will have little effect since Taiwan's high-ranking officials do not usually visit China, and Chinese courts do not have jurisdiction over Taiwan.

As China stepped up armed protests and sanctions against Taiwan, the United States began to respond. According to Taiwanese media such as the China Times on Friday, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng appeared before the National Defense Committee in the Legislative Yuan the previous day and said, “The U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is located about 740 kilometers east of Taiwan. This may be related to the appearance of the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in Taiwanese waters.”

Jeong-Soo Hong hong@donga.com