China's Foreign Ministry sanctions US Representative Michael McCaul

Sunday, April 16, 2023

McCaul (L) and Tsai (R) at a luncheon in Taiwan on April 8.
Image: Office of the President (Taiwan).

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs levied sanctions against Republican chair of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs Michael McCaul Thursday for heading a delegation of lawmakers that last week visited Taiwan, "sending a serious wrong signal to Taiwan independence separatist forces."

The Ministry's statement continued that, according to law, sanctions cover freezing any assets in China the congressman may have, banning organizations and individuals in China from working with him, and refusing him an entry visa.

Last week, McCaul's delegation visited Taipei and met with President Tsai Ing-wen, when according to Reuters he promised to help give Taiwanese military forces training and accelerate delivery of arms.

Taiwan broke from China in 1949 during the Chinese Civil War, but the mainland still asserts Taiwan has no authority to conduct foreign relations.

The Ministry said: "Republican Congressman Michael McCaul of Texas has frequently taken words and deeds to interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests in recent years, and recently led a delegation to visit the Taiwan region of China, seriously violating the one-China principle and the three-way relationship between China and the United States".

In response, McCaul said in a statement: "Ironically, this baseless action serves US interests by bringing more attention to our international partners and revealing the [Chinese Communist Party's] blatant aggression".

China has historically sanctioned foreign officials and entities for friendly overtures toward Taiwan, including the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and others last Wednesday for hosting a meeting between Tsai and US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Beijing has also targeted senior Taiwanese lawmakers.

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs argued Sunday it has a "fundamental right" to pursue its own diplomacy.