China issues guidelines on criminal punishment


The country issued guidelines on imposing criminal punishment on “diehard Taiwan independence” separatists for conducting or inciting secession, state news agency Xinhua reported.

China, which views democratically governed Taiwan as its own territory, has stepped up pressure on the island after the inauguration last month of Lai Ching-te as president, a man Beijing despises as a “separatist”, including staging war games shortly after he took office.

The new guidelines say China’s courts, prosecutors, public and state security bodies should “severely punish Taiwan independence diehards for splitting the country and inciting secession crimes in accordance with the law, and resolutely defend national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity”.

The guidelines are being issued in accordance with laws already on the books, including the 2005 anti-succession law, Xinhua said.

China has taken legal measures against Taiwanese officials before, including imposing sanctions on Hsiao Bi-khim, Taiwan’s former de facto ambassador to the United States and now the island’s vice-president. — Reuters

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