Skip to main content
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
Canada’s most-awarded newsroom for a reason
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

China is considering drawing up a blacklist of “diehard” supporters of Taiwan’s independence, the government said on Wednesday, which may see Beijing try to take legal steps against democratically-elected President Tsai Ing-wen.

Taiwan condemned the plan after the pro-Beijing Hong Kong-based newspaper Ta Kung Pao first reported on it this month. China’s widely-read Global Times tabloid has said the list could include senior Taiwanese government officials.

China claims self-governing Taiwan as its own territory. Taiwan’s government says the island is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its formal name, although China rejects this position.

Story continues below advertisement

Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said the “list of diehard Taiwan secessionists” now under consideration was only aimed at a very small number of independence supporters and those who fund them.

“It is absolutely not aimed at the vast majority of Taiwan compatriots,” she told a regular news briefing in Beijing.

Zhu did not give details or a timeframe, saying only that Beijing would take “targeted steps to severely punish in accordance with the law” those it viewed as hard-core backers of independence.

Chinese media have said the 2005 Anti-Secession Law, which mandates the use of force if China judges Taiwan to have declared independence, as well as national security legislation, could be used to charge those on the list.

It is unclear how that would play out, as Chinese courts have no jurisdiction in Taiwan, and Taiwan’s government leaders do not visit China.

The moves follows Beijing’s July unveiling of new national security laws for Chinese-run Hong Kong that prescribe sentences ranging up to life terms for crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Separately, Zhu said a Chinese court this week sentenced a Taiwanese citizen to four years in prison for espionage.

Story continues below advertisement

Last month, Chinese state television ran a series of programmes featuring “confessions” by Taiwanese spies, which Taiwan described as entrapment and another reason for people to fear visiting China.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies