China imposed visa bans and other sanctions on Taiwanese politicians on Tuesday as pressure mounts on the self-governing island and the US in response to repeated congressional visits. The sanctions come a day after China announced more military drills in the surrounding seas and skies.
Taiwan because of what he called “US-Taiwan collusion and provocation.” There was no word on the timing or extent of the Chinese exercises.
On the same day, they were informed that a US congressional delegation met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and, after a similar visit, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the most senior member of the US government to visit Taiwan in 25 years.
The Chinese government refuses any official Taiwan contact with foreign governments because it regards Taiwan as its own territory, and its recent saber-rattling has underscored its threat to take the island by military force.
Pelosi’s visit was followed by nearly two weeks of threatening Chinese military drills, including missile launches on the island and raids by naval vessels and warplanes across the Taiwan Strait centerline, which has long been a buffer between the sides.
In Washington, US State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters that China overreacted with its “provocative and entirely unnecessary response to the congressional delegation that visited Taiwan earlier this month in Congressmen Ker Chien-ming, Koo Li-hsiung , Tsai Chi-chang, Chen Jiau-Hua, and Wang Ting-yu, and activist Lin Fei-fan.
According to the ruling Communist Party’s Taiwan Labor Bureau, they are prohibited from traveling to mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau and from having financial or personal ties with mainland individuals and organizations.
The measures were designed to “firmly punish” those perceived as “hardliners” who support Taiwan’s independence, China’s official Xinhua news agency said. Premier Su Tseng-chang, Speaker of Parliament You Si-kun, and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu were already on China’s sanctions list and will face further restrictions, Xinhua said. China exercises no legal authority over Taiwan and it is unclear what impact the sanctions would have.
China has refused all contact with the Taiwanese government since shortly after Tsai’s election in 2016, which was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2020. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry tweeted its appreciation for the Congress’ recent visit, adding, “Authoritarian #China cannot dictate how democratic #Taiwan makes friends, wins support, remains resilient, and shines as a beacon of freedom.
Tsai’s pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party also controls the legislature, and the vast majority of Taiwanese support maintaining the status quo of de facto independence amid strong economic and social ties between the parties.
China accuses the U. of promoting the island’s independence by selling arms and compromising the island’s politicians and government.
Washington says it does not support independence, has no formal diplomatic ties with the island, and maintains that the two sides must settle their dispute peacefully, but has a legal obligation to ensure the island can defend itself against attack vigilant but has taken no major countermeasures against Chinese actions.
This is reflected in an overwhelming calm and widespread ambivalence among the public, who have lived under the threat of Chinese attacks for more than seven decades. Taiwan’s Ministry of Defense announced air and ground missile exercises would be held later in the week.