US condemns China's death penalty threat for advocating Taiwan independence

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

The United States has sharply criticized China's recent actions and rhetoric towards Taiwan, calling them provocative and disturbing. The condemnation comes in response to Beijing's announcement of new judicial measures aimed at punishing individuals who advocate for Taiwan independence, reports Central News Agency Taiwan.

Speaking during a press briefing at the State Department on Monday, spokesperson Matthew Miller addressed the issue, saying, “We strongly condemn the PRC authorities' aggressive and destabilizing language and actions. We urge restraint and refrain from unilaterally changing the status quo.”

China's new guidelines issued on June 21 include harsh punishments, such as the death penalty, for “hardcore” supporters of Taiwan independence. Under these guidelines, individuals convicted of secession or other serious crimes related to Taiwan independence could face the death penalty, even in absentia, as Focus Taiwan reported.

According to China's state-run news agency Xinhua, the guidelines outline the legal framework for prosecuting “Taiwan independence” activities, emphasize their criminal nature and specify procedures for imposing penalties. Xinhua described these measures as building on the foundation laid by China's 2005 anti-secession law.

In response to China's move, Taiwanese President Lai Ching-te strongly defended Taiwan's democratic principles and stressed that “democracy is not a crime, while autocracy is.” He criticized China's attempt to punish Taiwanese citizens for expressing their political views and said that China has no authority to dictate or prosecute such cases.

President Lai said, “According to China's logic, not supporting unification is equivalent to supporting Taiwan independence.” He called on Beijing to acknowledge the existence of the Republic of China and engage in diplomatic dialogue with Taiwan's democratically elected government.

The United States reiterated its position advocating for meaningful dialogue between China and Taiwan, stressing that pressure and legal threats would be counterproductive to the peaceful resolution of differences across the Taiwan Strait.

The US is urging both sides to maintain stability and avoid actions that could escalate tensions or unilaterally change the current status quo, Focus Taiwan reports.

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