China retaliated for the US House Speaker’s meeting with the Taiwanese president by announcing sanctions on Friday against the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and other organizations, adding to tensions over the autonomous island democracy that Beijing calls for. as part of its territory.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Republican, held talks with Speaker Tsai Ing-wen at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California on Wednesday, defying Chinese warnings. McCarthy joined a growing series of foreign lawmakers who have joined Tsai in a show of support for Taiwan in the face of Chinese bullying.
Relations between the United States and China have sunk to their lowest level in decades over disputes over the status of Taiwan, which broke away from China in 1949 after a civil war, as well as security, technology and the treatment of Beijing to Hong Kong and Muslim ethnic minorities.
The ruling Communist Party of mainland China says Taiwan is destined to be reunited with China, by force if necessary, and has no right to engage in foreign relations. President Xi Jinping’s government says contact with foreign officials will encourage Taiwanese who want formal independence, a step Beijing says would lead to war.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that the Reagan Library and the Hudson Institute, a Washington think tank, were sanctioned for “providing a platform and convenience for Taiwanese separatist activities.” He said that Chinese institutions were prohibited from having any kind of cooperation or contact with them.
An email seeking comment from the library was not immediately returned Thursday night.
Tsai accepted a leadership award from the Hudson Institute as part of her trip to the US and delivered a speech on Taiwan’s regional security challenges.
The ministry also cited Sarah May Stern, president of the Hudson Institute’s board of directors; John P. Walters, director of the institute; John Heubusch, former Executive Director of the Reagan Foundation, and Joanne M. Drake, the Foundation’s Senior Trustee.
The ministry said they were barred from visiting China and any property or financial assets belonging to them in China would be frozen.
“We will take resolute measures to punish the ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and their actions, and resolutely safeguard our country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the Chinese cabinet’s Taiwan Affairs Office said in a statement on Thursday. .
China has stepped up its efforts to intimidate Taiwan by flying fighter jets and firing missiles into the nearby sea on an almost daily basis. The lobbying campaign has left many concerned about the possibility of an invasion.
On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “in recent years, we have seen: For Chinese leaders, the status quo that brought peace and stability to the Taiwan Straits for decades is no longer acceptable. This has led China to increase pressure and coercive means against Taiwan.”
The US government has no official relations with Taiwan, but it maintains extensive informal and commercial ties. Washington is required by federal law to ensure that the island has the means to defend itself if attacked by China.