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China sanctions US groups, Taiwan official over Tsai's visit

April 7, 2023

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and a US conservative think tank were among the organizations sanctioned by China. The move comes after Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen met with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Kevin McCarthy and Tsai Ing-wen arrive at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California
The sanctions by China are a response to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's recent visit to the United StatesImage: Ringo H.W. Chiu/AP/picture-alliance

China announced sanctions against two Asia-based organizations, two US-based organization's and against Taiwan's representative to the United States on Friday.

The sanctions are a retaliation to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen's recent visit to the United States and her meeting with US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in California.

China previously announced that it would take countermeasures against Taiwan's engagement with the US.

"We will take resolute measures to punish the 'Taiwan independence' separatist forces and their actions, and resolutely safeguard our country's sovereignty and territorial integrity," China's Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement Thursday, calling Tsai and her political party separatists.

Sanctions against US organizations

In a statement, China's Foreign Ministry announced sanctions against the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the US-based conservative think tank, the Hudson Institute, as well as the heads of the organizations.

The ministry said that the organizations were sanctioned for "providing a platform and convenience to Taiwan separatist activities."

During her trip to the US, the Hudson Institute gave Tsai a leadership award while the Reagan Library was the venue for Tsai and McCarthy's meeting.

US-Taiwanese talks violate 'One China' principle: Mao Ning, Chinese Foreign Ministry

The sanctions include travel bans for the leaders of the two US organizations and also bar them from working with Chinese organizations and possessing properties or other assets in China.

Travel bans for Taiwan's US representative, Asia-based organizations

China also sanctioned two Asia-based organizations, including the Prospect Foundation and the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.

The organizations are being sanctioned for their involvement in promoting Taiwan independence "under the guise of academic and research exchanges," China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesperson, Zhu Fenglian, said.

The Prospect Foundation is a think tank headed by a former Taiwanese foreign minister. The Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats is a Thailand-based organization. It allows interactions between liberal and democratic political parties and has Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party as a member.

Hsiao Bi-Khim, Taiwan's representative to the US, was also targeted in the latest Chinese sanctions, which strictly prohibit her and her family from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. She was also hit with sanctions by Beijing in August last year after then-US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taipei.

Angered China's military advances

China's warships and aircraft were spotted near Taiwan for a second consecutive day on Friday.

Along with three Chinese warships that were seen in the waters around the self-ruled island, a fighter jet and an anti-submarine helicopter also flew in the island's air defense identification zone, Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense said.

"1 PLA aircraft and 3 PLAN vessels around Taiwan were detected by 6 a.m. (UTC+8) today," the Taiwanese ministry said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry detected China's Shandong aircraft carrier 200 nautical miles (370 kilometers) off Taiwan's east coast.

The military advances and sanctions by China came after Beijing condemned Tsai's meeting with McCarthy in the US.

mf/rs (Reuters, AP)