China warns it's prepared to sanction more Taiwanese politicians

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) – China has warned it’s willing to sanction more Taiwanese politicians after two defiantly expressed disappointment they hadn’t been punished, as cross-strait tensions continue to escalate.

Beijing had noticed that “some Taiwan separatists have been quite active lately,” Ms Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said at a regular briefing Wednesday (Nov 24) in Beijing.

“Some even claimed that they feel regret at not being on the list,” she said. “Don’t worry, there will be a day when they truly feel regret.”

Earlier this month, China hit Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, Legislative Yuan President You Si-kun with sanctions including bans on travelling to the mainland, saying they were “fanning up hostility across the Taiwan Strait and maliciously smearing the mainland.”

The next day Taiwan’s top representative to Germany, Mr Shieh Jhy-wey, in a Facebook post said he was disappointed he wasn’t among those Beijing punished.

“I protest! I strongly protest to the Chinese communist regime! How can you not list my name?!” he wrote.

Taiwanese lawmaker Wang Ting-yu made similar comments in a YouTube video. “I feel enraged that I am not listed. This is almost an insult,” he said.

Beijing’s sanctions will probably have little effect because the politicians are unlikely to travel to the mainland or do business there.

Still, Chinese authorities must meet public expectations at home to take a hardline against attempts by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to assert the island’s autonomy.

China regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be reunified, by force if necessary.

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