Bharat Express

China Releases New Regulations To Punish Taiwan Separatists

Taiwan reported a substantial rise in Chinese military flights since Thursday, as Beijing conducted a joint combat readiness patrol near the island


Lai Ching-te

Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te stated on Monday that democracy is not a crime and autocracy is the true evil after China threatened to impose the death sentence in severe situations for diehard Taiwan independence separatists.

China, which considers Taiwan its territory, has made no secret of its hatred for Lai, who assumed office last month, calling him a separatist, and staging war simulations shortly after his inauguration.

On Friday, China increased its pressure on Taiwan by announcing new legal guidelines to punish anyone it claims advocates for the island’s formal independence, despite the fact that Chinese courts have no jurisdiction on the democratically governed island.

When asked about China’s move during a news conference at the presidential office in Taipei, Lai initially expressed his sympathy for recent flooding in southern China before responding.

“I want to stress: democracy is not a crime; it’s autocracy that is the real evil. China has absolutely no right to sanction Taiwan’s people just because of the positions they hold. What’s more, China has no right to go after Taiwan people’s rights across borders”, Lai continued.

“According to China, anyone who opposes reunification is a supporter of Taiwan’s independence”, Lai noted.

“I also want to call on China to face up to the existence of the Republic of China and have exchanges and dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected, legitimate government”, Lai continued, referencing Taiwan’s formal name.

Lai went on to say, “If this is not done, relations between Taiwan and China will only become more and more estranged”.

Taiwan reported a substantial rise in Chinese military flights since Thursday, as Beijing conducted a joint combat readiness patrol near the island.

Taiwan claims to have spotted 115 Chinese military aircraft operating nearby between Thursday and Sunday, with one flying as close as 31 nautical miles (57 km) from the island’s southern tip.

Taiwan claims that over the past four years, China has carried out regular military operations surrounding the island as part of a grey zone pressure campaign.

“Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang war games next month will aim to mimic actual combat as closely as possible given a rapidly rising enemy threat from China”, a senior official stated.

Lai rejects Beijing’s sovereignty claims, claiming that only Taiwanese citizens can decide their future. He has frequently offered talks with China but has been turned down.

China maintains that any effort by Taiwan to proclaim official independence would be grounds for an invasion of the island.

The Taipei government claims Taiwan is already an independent country, the Republic of China, and has no plan to change that.

After losing the civil war against Mao Zedong’s Communists, the Republican government withdrew to Taiwan in 1949.

Lai also faces domestic challenges, since his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost its majority in parliament in the same January election that put him to power.

Speaking at the same press conference, Lai stated that he would request that the constitutional court stay a package of controversial legislative reforms passed by the opposition and investigate whether they comply with the constitution.

The opposition claims that the reforms, which include criminalizing government officials’ contempt of parliament, are necessary to increase accountability, while the DPP claims they were forced through without appropriate deliberation.

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