Mainland Provinces Penalize Subsidiaries of Taiwan Firm Reportedly Linked to ‘Separatist’ Politician
What’s new: Local authorities in multiple provinces punished mainland subsidiaries of a Taiwanese conglomerate which is reportedly a major political donor to a senior Taiwan politician regarded by Beijing as a “headstrong separatist” seeking the island’s independence.
The mainland subsidiaries of the Taiwanese Far Eastern Group, based in several provincial-level regions across the East and Southwest China, such as Shanghai, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Hubei and Sichuan, have been fined for regulatory violations, including environmental ones, as well as tax evasion, according to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, China’s cabinet.
Zhu Fenglian, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office in Beijing, said in a statement Monday that Beijing will not tolerate those individuals who seek “Taiwan independence” and damage cross-strait relations while profiting from doing business on the mainland.
“Taiwanese businesses and companies should make a clear distinction between right and wrong, take a firm stand and draw a clear line with ‘Taiwan independence’s secessionist forces,” Zhu urged in the statement.
Why it matters: The move could have an immediate chilling effect on the political donations from these Taiwanese companies with mainland subsidiaries to candidates from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party in future local elections in Taiwan.
Since last year, Beijing has been increasingly piling pressure on secessionist forces on the island, and has vowed to punish what it called “headstrong separatists” and their financial supporters.
Early this month, the Taiwan Affairs Office named and sanctioned three such individuals, including Su Tseng-chang (苏贞昌), a Taiwanese politician serving as the No. 2 in the island’s executive branch.
According to Singapore’s influential newspaper Lianhe Zaobao, the Far Eastern Group has been a financial supporter of Su’s political campaign. It reportedly contributed about NT$2 million ($72,000) in 2016, financing the political campaign of Su Chiao-hui (苏巧慧), Su Tseng-chang’s daughter and current lawmaker in the island’s legislative branch.
The Far Eastern Group has various investments on the mainland including in the textile and cement industries.
Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.
Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Michael Bellart (email@example.com)
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