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China imposes sanctions on two US organizations over hosting Taiwan's President

US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) and Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen in Simi Valley, California, US, April 5, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

China has ordered sanctions against two American organizations for hosting Taiwan's visiting President Tsai Ing-wen during a recent trip to the United States.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Friday that the Washington-headquartered think tank Hudson Institute and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California would be banned from any cooperation, exchange, or transaction with institutions and individuals in China.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was the site of the meeting between Tsai and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday. It was the first time a Taiwanese president had met a US Speaker on American soil.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs added that key leaders of the two American organizations would also be barred from visiting China, unable to transact or cooperate with organizations or individuals there, and have any assets in the country frozen, the statement said.

Several leading executives from the two entities, including Hudson Institute officials Sarah May Stern and John Walters, and Joanne Drake of the Reagan Library, were included in the sanctions alongside Taiwan’s representative in America, Hsiao Bi-khim.

“The Hudson Institute and the Reagan Library have provided a platform and facilitated Tsai’s separatist activities… which seriously undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry noted.

Tsai's visit to the US took place despite China's stern warnings against it.

China has sovereignty over Taiwan under the "one China" principle. The US recognizes that sovereignty but regularly violates its own stated policy. The island has become a major bone of contention between Beijing and Washington.

Speaking in Washington on Thursday, the State Department spokesman acknowledged "differences" between the United States and China over Taiwan but said that the two powers have managed the situation for 40 years.

The United States characterized Tsai's visit as a "transit" on her way to and from Latin America.

During her meeting with McCarthy, Tsai thanked Washington for its commitment to allegedly protecting Taiwan’s “way of life,” while the US official stressed the importance of relations between Washington and Taipei.

Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, when the losing side in the Chinese civil war fled to the island and established its own administration.

While only a handful of nations have recognized Taiwan as a sovereign state, the US has long maintained close, unofficial ties with Taipei, both militarily and economically.

Tsai returned to Chinese Taipei on Friday, and said her government would not cease having exchanges with the world despite “impediments.”

“We have shown to the international community that when faced with pressure and threats, Taiwan will be even more united. We will never succumb to suppression, and we will also never cease having exchanges with the international community because of impediments,” she said.

Taiwan will not only contribute its expertise and be a force of good for the world, but will also cooperate with other international partners actively for more fruitful results, she claimed, adding that, “Taiwan’s resolve to safeguard freedom and democracy have received support from our fellow democracy partner, and have solidified our friendship with them.”

Meanwhile, the few countries that have still maintained diplomatic relations with Taipei are rapidly shifting towards China.

Latin American leader Xiomara Castro, last month, announced Honduras' decision to cut ties with Taiwan to establish diplomatic ties with China, dealing a fresh blow to the island's US-backed secessionist leader, Tsai.

Honduras was among about a dozen small nations in Latin America and the Pacific that diplomatically recognized Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) over Beijing.

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