China Leaves Supporters Of Taiwanese Independence Criminally Liable For Life

China has recently been applying additional pressure on Taiwan to cement and reassert its control over the nation. Last week, China released a statement criminalizing support for Taiwan, making anyone who supports Taiwanese independence criminally liable for life. This comes shortly after the United States stated its allegiance to the Taiwanese, promising to protect the nation if required. This conflict with Taiwan is important for the world because these two factions are connected, either through alliance or rivalry, with every political power in the world. China does not recognize Taiwanese sovereignty, and Taiwanese people who disagree with this point of view will face extreme consequences.

The conflict between China and Taiwan is long-running. For many years, China has had its eye on potentially acquiring Taiwan, with the goal of increasing its dominance over Asia. Over time, China has applied an increasing amount of pressure to the island, placing troops on Taiwanese borders and threatening the nation on a political level. China has made it clear that it is willing to use violence to keep its control over Taiwan, as all parties involved know that the Chinese forces would easily dominate. However, for the moment it appears content to menace the island through increasingly severe legal threats and intimidation.

Now that support for Taiwan has been criminalized, people whom China believes to be too protective of Taiwanese independence will be placed on a newly-created blacklist. Among the people already on that list is the Taiwanese premier, Su Tseng-chang, whom the Taiwan Affairs Office has called “stubbornly pro-Taiwan independence.” Anyone on the blacklist will not be permitted entry into mainland China, or to co-operate with any companies, people, or entities who are residents of mainland China. The simple act of speaking up about China’s aggression toward Taiwan will prevent people from seeing family members, collecting pensions, and working corporate jobs. This carries massive implications for human rights.

It is paramount that Taiwan’s allies rise in protection of the state. Taiwan is being oppressed by a much larger and stronger nation. China’s authoritarian diplomatic strategy strangles the odds of an equitable Taiwanese society, which the other superpowers of our world should not tolerate.

A non-violent negotiation is key to retaining peace in this part of the world. Taiwan and China must reconcile with each other. Through discussion and deliberation, both parties can come to empathize with each other’s values and meet on a common foreground, so that Asia and our world can come out stronger than ever before.