The Taiwan Affairs Office of China on Friday, Nov. 5, made its first public warning of heavy consequences to supporters of Taiwan independence. 

The department declared that those who appeared on the “stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence” blacklist of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would be liable to criminal charges as heavy as a life sentence in China, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. 

“The mainland will pursue criminal responsibility for the ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards in accordance with the law, which will be effective for life,’” declared SCMP office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian. 

The penalties also included prohibitions from entering and making profits in mainland China, including Hong Kong and Macau. The penalties also apply to their families. 

“They and their affiliates will be restricted from cooperating with mainland organizations and individuals,” said Fenglian. “They and their affiliates and those who offer financial support to them will never be allowed to gain any profit from the mainland.”

China at present is hosting up to tens of thousands of Taiwanese workers. 

Reclaiming control of the island perceived as a breakaway province, the CCP recently accelerated its military activities in the Taiwan Strait. 

Separated from China in 1949 during the civil war, Taiwan, a multi-party democratic government with a flourishing economy, vowed to fight for its independence from China. The island had never been controlled by Beijing for the past 70 years.

Taiwan was not surprised by the threat of force from the CCP, and on Friday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said, “The CCP has always used coercive threats to pressure people who disagree with it. The people of Taiwan will never compromise.”

The threat of force was a change from an assertion by Chinese leader Xi Jinping last month that Beijing would pursue “peaceful reunification.” He said that while at the same time sending 150 fighter jets to the Taiwan Strait, CNN reported.

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