China on Tuesday imposed sanctions, including an entry ban, on seven “pro-independence” Taiwanese officials and lawmakers, Reuters reported.
The sanctions were announced a day after a United States Congress delegation led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei.
This is the second high-level visit by United States officials to Taiwan this month. On August 2, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan despite a slew of threats from China, which considers the Island nation as a province that is to be unified with the Chinese mainland.
China had also carried out fresh military drills in the seas and the airspace around Taiwan on Monday.
Beijing sees official visits by United States officials as lending support to pro-independence camps and giving credence to the idea of Taiwan as a sovereign nation.
On Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office said that among those sanctioned were Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the United States, Hsiao Bi-khim, and legislators Ker Chien-ming, Koo Li-Hsiung, Tsai Chi-chang, Chen Jiau-Hua and Wang Ting-yu, along with activist Lin Fei-fan, according to The Associated Press.
Those sanctioned will not be able to visit China, Hong Kong and Macau. Any firms and investors related to them would also not be allowed to conduct business in China.
“For some time, a few diehard separatist elements, out of their own interests, have gone to lengths to collude with external forces in provocations advocating Taiwan independence,” a Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson said, according to Reuters. “Their activities became all the more egregious during the visit by Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to China’s Taiwan region, further exposing their obstinate nature in seeking Taiwan independence.”
Taiwanese Activist Lin Fei-fan said it was an honour to be added to the sanctions list, Reuters reported.
“I think that in this era, being sanctioned by an authoritarian regime should be a decoration for members of the free world, and it is very glorious,” he said.