China vows to impose sanctions on ‘Taiwan independence’ forces

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China said Friday it will impose sanctions such as entry bans on Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Legislative Speaker You Si-kun, labeling them as “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

The move comes as tensions between the mainland and the self-ruled democratic island have been escalating, becoming a regular source of Sino-U.S. friction.

Taiwan has been also trying to bolster cooperation with Europe recently to challenge China’s growing assertiveness on the island, which apparently prompted the leadership of President Xi Jinping to levy sanctions on the three Taiwan politicians.

China said it will prohibit the three and their families from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau.

On Thursday, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen held talks with a European Parliament delegation making a historic first visit to the island, much to the consternation of China that claims it as part of its territory.

Meanwhile, after U.S. President Joe Biden said late last month that the United States is committed to defending Taiwan if China mounts an attack on the island, relations between Washington and Beijing have become more fragile.

Communist-led China and Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949 as the result of a civil war. The mainland considers the island a renegade province and has vowed to reclaim it, by force if necessary. — Kyodo News

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