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China sanctions senior US lawmaker over visit to Chinese Taipei

This handout photo released on April 6, 2023 shows Michael McCaul (R), the chairman of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, shaking hands with Taiwanese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Tah-ray Yui upon arrival at an airport in Chinese Taipei.

China has sanctioned a senior US lawmaker who recently visited Chinese Taipei to convey Washington's support for the secessionist movement on the island.

China's Foreign Ministry announced on Thursday that it had sanctioned US Representative Michael McCaul, chairman of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. 

McCaul visited Taipei last week and met Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, pledging to help provide training for Taiwan's armed forces and to speed up the delivery of weapons.

Republican McCaul conveyed a "seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces" during his meetings with officials in Taipei.

During his visit, McCaul said the delegation was in Taipei to show its support for the democratic island.

Speaking at an event in Taiwan, McCaul underlined that the visit was intended to demonstrate strong support for a self-ruled Taiwan.

China's Foreign Ministry noted that McCaul had frequently interfered in China's internal affairs with his words and actions and harmed China's interests.

The US delegation to Taiwan led by McCaul was "seriously harming China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and sending a seriously wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces," it added.

It said that McCaul will not be allowed to enter the country and is banned from interacting with organizations and individuals in China. Any assets in China belonging to McCaul will be frozen, it added.

The visit to Taiwan was not the first such visit by a US official to the Island. In August, then US House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, visited Taiwan along with a delegation of Democratic Party members of the House to reaffirm Washington’s support for Taiwan.

Apart from Pelosi, some other high-ranking US officials have, on numerous occasions, voiced Washington's support for Taiwan.

China sanctioned some of the officials of the administration of US former President Donald Trump, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in early 2021.

Senior Taipei officials have also been sanctioned by China.

Beijing views Chinese Taipei as an inseparable part of China, repeatedly warming Washington against unwise provocations in this regard.

China has reiterated no force can stop the Chinese nation from achieving Beijing's police of reunification with Taipei.

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