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Taiwan warns against travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macao amid execution threats


Taiwan has issued an advisory to its citizens on Thursday against visiting China, Hong Kong, and Macao following Beijing‘s recent threats to execute those who support Taiwan’s independence.
The warning was issued by Liang Wen-chieh, a spokesperson for Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, as tensions have escalated between Taiwan and China. Beijing considers Taiwan to be a part of its territory and has declined to communicate with Taiwan’s government since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016.
The purpose of the advisory is to alert Taiwanese travelers about the potential dangers they may face under China’s recently introduced guidelines, which target individuals who advocate for Taiwan’s independence.Although travel is not outright prohibited but citizens are advised to refrain from expressing political opinions or participating in activities that could result in their arrest or prosecution by Chinese authorities.
Previously, Taiwan had denounced Beijing’s threat of severe punishments, “including the death penalty,” for those who support Taiwan’s independence.
According to a notice released by Beijing, “leaders of independence efforts who cause serious harm to the state and the people” could face the death penalty, while other prominent advocates could be sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years to life.
The Taiwanese government strongly denounced China’s newly introduced guidelines, maintaining that the Chinese authorities have no legal authority over Taiwan and asserting that the new regulations are not legally binding on Taiwanese citizens.
In a statement, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) expressed disappointment over the guidelines announced by Chinese officials earlier as “regrettable,” labeling them as inflammatory and harmful to the interactions between the people of Taiwan and mainland China. The MAC further cautioned Taiwanese citizens living in or intending to visit China to remain alert and exercise prudence.
China’s escalating pressure on advocates of Taiwanese independence originates from its long-held assertion that Taiwan is an integral part of its territory, notwithstanding the island’s autonomous governance since 1949. The tensions have been exacerbated by Taiwan’s international engagements and China’s attempts to isolate Taiwan diplomatically.
The Chinese Communist Party perceives support for Taiwanese independence as a direct threat to its sovereignty, resulting in retaliatory actions such as legal intimidation and economic pressure.
(With inputs from agencies)

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