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China Has Issued a Threat Of Death Penalty For Staunch Taiwan Separatists

China Has Issued a Threat Of Death Penalty For Staunch Taiwan Separatists

China, asserting Taiwan as its integral territory, openly opposes President Lai Ching-te, branding him a “separatist,” and conducted military exercises shortly after his inauguration last month.

On Friday, China escalated tensions by threatening to apply the death penalty in extreme cases for staunch advocates of Taiwan independence, despite lacking jurisdiction over the democratically governed island. Taiwan has raised concerns over heightened Chinese pressure since Lai’s election in January, citing ongoing military maneuvers, trade sanctions, and coast guard activities near Taiwan-administered islands near China.

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According to Chinese state-run news agency, new guidelines instruct Chinese courts, prosecutors, and security bodies to harshly punish those advocating Taiwan independence, citing laws like the 2005 anti-secession law as legal justification for potential actions, including military intervention if Taiwan moves towards secession.

Sun Ping from China’s Ministry of Public Security emphasized that the maximum penalty for “secession crimes” could be death, underscoring the severe consequences under Chinese law.

Taiwan has yet to formally respond to these developments, with officials reportedly assessing the implications of the new guidelines.

The guidelines outline actions deemed criminal, including advocating Taiwan’s participation in international organizations under conditions of statehood, engaging in official external exchanges, and suppressing groups promoting reunification. They also introduce a broad clause encompassing any activities perceived as separating Taiwan from China, allowing for flexible interpretation of what constitutes an offense.

President Lai has expressed willingness to engage in dialogue, though such overtures have been rebuffed, maintaining that Taiwan’s future should be decided by its people alone. Despite legal measures and sanctions against Taiwanese officials, these actions hold no practical sway as Taiwan rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, and its leaders refrain from visiting mainland.