China TAO possibly creating 'Taiwan independence supporter list'

China's Taiwan Affairs Office neither confirms nor denies it is putting together a 'Taiwan independence supporter list'

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Pro-Taiwan independence rally. (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A spokesman for China's Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) at a press conference yesterday (May 16) did not directly confirm or deny the possible existence of a list of "Taiwan independence supporters," but he did say that "all activities leave a trace," reported Newtalk

Chinese-state-run media outlets have recently suggested Beijing create a list of "Taiwan independence supporters," who will be punished in accordance with the law and that a "global wanted list" be set up for the worst offenders. At a press conference yesterday, a Xinhua reporter asked, "It has been reported that mainland China has a related department that has started to create this kind of list, is this true?"

An Fengshan (安峰山), spokesman for the TAO, said the unification of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait is an irreversible trend. An then said that "Taiwan independence" supporters better not think that things they said and did in the past can "pass through the water without leaving a wake."

An stressed that any "obstinate and stubborn Taiwan independence supporter" will be condemned by the people and punished by history. 

An then reiterated that "Taiwan independence" is a dead end, which will only bring disaster to our compatriots in Taiwan.

Taiwan has been functionally an independent country since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, however Taiwanese leaders avoid using using language that would make it seem that they are formally seeking independence as Beijing has stated that it would invade if such a declaration was made. 

Since Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016 and refused to acknowledge Beijing's version of its "one China" policy in the form of the "1992 Consensus," China has taken a multi-pronged, punitive approach, which includes blocking Taiwan from participating in international organizations, stealing away diplomatic allies, staging multiple military exercises and pressuring companies and governments to remove references to Taiwan as an independent country.