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25/06/24 | 2:39 pm

US condemns China’s death penalty threats over Taiwan independence advocacy

The United States has sharply criticised China’s recent actions and rhetoric towards Taiwan, describing them as provocative and unsettling. This condemnation comes in response to Beijing’s announcement of new judicial measures aimed at penalising individuals who advocate for Taiwan’s independence.

Speaking during a press briefing at the Department of State on Monday, spokesman Matthew Miller said, “We strongly condemn the escalatory and destabilising language and actions from PRC officials. We continue to urge restraint and no unilateral change to the status quo.”

China’s new guidelines, issued on June 21, include severe penalties such as the death sentence for what it terms “diehard” supporters of Taiwan independence. Under these directives, individuals convicted of inciting secession or other serious offences related to Taiwan independence may face capital punishment, even in absentia, as reported by Focus Taiwan.

According to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, the guidelines outline the legal framework for prosecuting “Taiwan independence” activities, asserting their criminal nature, and specifying the procedures for imposing penalties. Xinhua characterises these measures as building upon the foundation laid by China’s 2005 Anti-Secession Law.

In response to China’s move, Taiwan’s President Lai Ching-te vehemently defended Taiwan’s democratic principles, emphasising that “democracy is not a crime, whereas autocracy is.” He criticised China’s attempt to punish Taiwanese citizens for expressing their political views, asserting that China lacks the authority to dictate or prosecute such matters.

“As per China’s logic, not supporting unification equates to supporting Taiwan independence,” President Lai remarked, calling on Beijing to acknowledge Taiwan’s existence and engage in diplomatic dialogue with the island nation’s democratically elected government.

The United States reiterated its stance advocating for meaningful dialogue between China and Taiwan, emphasising that coercion and legal threats are counterproductive to resolving differences across the Taiwan Strait peacefully. The US continues to urge both parties to uphold stability and avoid actions that could escalate tensions or alter the current state of affairs unilaterally.

Inputs: ANI

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