China to Punish Supporters of Taiwan’s Independence

China said that it will punish firms and individuals who operate in the mainland and support Taiwan’s independence, hours after it fined a major Taiwanese firm for business violations.

“Businesses and financial sponsors associated with supporters of Taiwan independence will be penalized according to law,” said Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian on Monday.

Taiwan-based Far Eastern Group was recently fined 88.62 million yuan ($13.89 million) for various factory violations, including safety hazards and tax issues. News of the violation had sparked speculations that the move was politically motivated.

During the Monday briefing, Zhu confirmed the company’s fine and violations to reporters, adding: “We welcome Taiwan-based enterprises to invest and develop in the mainland and will continue to protect their legitimate rights and interests in accordance with the law.”

“But we will never allow those that support Taiwan independence or damage cross-Straits relations to make money on the mainland,” said Zhu.

Far Eastern Group have donated money to pro-independence politicians in Taiwan, the island’s Central News Agency reported, citing government data.

China has been mounting pressure on Taiwan to accept Beijing’s rule. Earlier this month, Beijing warned that it will hold supporters of the island’s independence criminally liable.

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