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Taiwan politicians bash China's death penalty threats

06/22/2024 10:00 PM
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Chinese officials announce the new guidelines during a press conference in Beijing on Friday. CNA photo June 21, 2024
Chinese officials announce the new guidelines during a press conference in Beijing on Friday. CNA photo June 21, 2024

Taipei, June 22 (CNA) Politicians from Taiwan's ruling and opposition parties on Saturday expressed concern over a set of new guidelines in China, which allow a death sentence against people deemed as "diehard" advocates of Taiwan independence.

Speaking with reporters in Taipei, opposition Kuomintang Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said China "has no jurisdiction over the Republic of China" (Taiwan).

He expressed concern over the heightened antagonism between Taipei and Beijing and called on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to "exercise restraint" and "replace confrontation with dialogue."

Chu's comments came a day after Chinese officials unveiled a set of new guidelines that would allow courts in China to try "Taiwan independence separatists" in absentia, according to China's state run Xinhua News Agency.

KMT Chairman Eric Chu. CNA photo June 22, 2024
KMT Chairman Eric Chu. CNA photo June 22, 2024

"Diehard" advocates of Taiwan independence who are convicted of inciting secession or committing other "serious crimes" may be sentenced to death, according to the new judicial guidelines, Xinhua reported Saturday.

The guidelines, which detail "the criminal nature of 'Taiwan independence' separatist acts, their criminal liabilities, and the procedure to impose penalties," can be regarded as "a refinement and supplement" to China's 2005 Anti-Secession Law, the Xinhua report said.

On Saturday, Celina Wu (吳怡萱), spokeswoman for the Taiwan People's Party, said the introduction of the new guidelines was an act of "intimidation."

The actions described in the guidelines would only exacerbate the antagonism between the people on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait and impede bilateral exchanges, Wu said.

Meanwhile, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party said China cannot exercise jurisdiction over Taiwan.

The Taiwanese people are protected by Taiwan's constitutional and democratic system, he said.

Beijing "lacks understanding" of Taiwan, where the people have freedom of expression and can freely voice support for either Taiwan independence or unification with China, Chen added.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (second right). CNA photo June 22, 2024
Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (second right). CNA photo June 22, 2024
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