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Beijing’s Bullying: Blacklisting “Taiwan independence” Personnel

Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing Ta Kung Pao newspaper carried an article stating that the Chinese regime is preparing to blacklist “Taiwan independence” diehards, and may launch crackdowns and impose life-long sanctions, referring to the legal provision of the “crime of committing secession.”

A Ta Kung Pao front page article on November 15 claimed that “Authorities in mainland China are preparing to blacklist ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards, and punish those who have made aggressive ‘Taiwan independence’ remarks and committed vile ‘Taiwan independence’ actions, along with their major sponsors. Legal provisions from the anti-secession Law, criminal law, and the national security law will be used to bring those people to justice and hold them accountable for life.” The article pointed out that the crime of secession can have a sentence of up to life in prison.

Shuh-Fan Ding, a professor at National Chengchi University in Taiwan, told Radio Free Asia that the purpose of the blacklist is more for intimidation than for real punishment. “The mainland wants to have a psychological impact. First, it aims to warn the people about ‘Taiwan independence’; second, it attempts to reduce Taiwan’s support for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) through intimidation because the DPP is considered a ‘Taiwan independence’ party.’” Shuh-Fan believes that, considering the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) handling of the Hong Kong issue last year, this crackdown and sanctions against “Taiwan independence” will also have a counterproductive effect.

Paul Huang, a Taiwanese freelance writer, said that the CCP’s implementation of the “Taiwan Independence” diehards list, similar to the promulgation of the Hong Kong national security law, is to enforce Beijing’s will. “What I am worried about is that the mainland will enact an unlimited authorization bill, or that the list can be expanded at any time without any warning. Then hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese in mainland China may be upset because of this. One must be cautious with his words and deeds even inside Taiwan. This is the biggest concern.” “We need to look at the detailed enforcement (measures). If it is just a blacklist, similar to the US Department of Commerce’s sanctions mechanism against China, it is just a concept of denying entry. If it is more offensive, the mainland will turn this into a law that can be criminally prosecuted, much like Hong Kong’s national security law.”

Since the enforcement of the Hong Kong national security law in June this year, Beijing has arrested a number of student leaders for violating the national security law and inciting the secession of the nation. The CCP’s General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the “Five Points” on Taiwan in 2019, namely, cross-strait reunification, the Taiwan version of “one country, two systems,” no promise of abandoning military reunification, deepened cross-strait integration and development, and promotion of the consensus of peaceful reunification. At the same time, the “Five Points” was formally written into the decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the CCP’s 19th Central Committee.

The Mainland Affairs Council, the Taiwanese government’s agency handling cross-strait affairs, issued a statement in this regard, stating that the mainland’s use of force and legal means to bully and threaten dissidents with the intent of intimidating Taiwan into self-censorship, inciting cross-strait antagonism, and sabotaging peace and stability will only be futile and counterproductive. The Mainland Affairs Council stated that Taiwan will not give in under threats.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 16, 2020