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China sanctions Taiwan officials and stages more military drills

China has sanctioned senior Taiwanese officials and staged a new round of military drills following a brief visit to the island by a delegation of US lawmakers. 

The bipartisan delegation visited after US House speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial visit to the island. On Monday, Chnese state media announced seven individuals had been sanctioned for allegedly supporting Taiwan independence. This includes Taiwan’s de facto ambassador to the US, Hsiao Bi-khim, the head of Taiwan’s national security council, Wellington Koo, and Lin Fe-fan, the deputy secretary general of the governing Democratic Progressive party.

The seven – who are barred from traveling to China, Hong Kong or Macao, and from making profit in China – join Taiwan’s premier, foreign minister, and speaker, who were sanctioned in November 2021.

The island’s foreign ministry said Taiwan was a democracy that “could not be interfered with by China”. Lin said while the sanctions were “a blow to the current state of cross-strait relations”, he viewed those imposed on him as a “great honour”.

Wu Qian, a spokesperson for China’s defence ministry, said: “The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) continues to train and prepare for war, resolutely defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely crush any form of ‘Taiwan independence’ separatism and foreign interference attempts.”, The Guardian reports

“We warn the US and the DPP authorities: using Taiwan to contain China is doomed to failure,” he added, referring to Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive party.

The bipartisan US delegation, led by Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, arrived in Taipei on Sunday evening. The unannounced brief visit came after Beijing sent warships, missiles and jets into the waters and skies around Taiwan, prompting fears of military calculation between the world’s two largest militaries.

Read more at the Guardian

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