Analysts said the move could increase economic pressure on Taiwanese companies operating in China – and local mainland companies investing there.
Beijing claims a democratic self-governing Taiwan as part of its territory to be recaptured one day, by force if necessary.
It has stepped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016, as she sees the island as “already independent” and not part of “one China.”
Beijing “would never allow people who support” Taiwan independence “and harm cross-strait relations to make money on the mainland,” the Taiwan Affairs Bureau (TAO) said in a statement. Monday evening.
He was responding to a report by the state-run Xinhua news agency that Taiwan’s Far Eastern group had been fined in China for its investments in several Chinese provinces for violating local regulations.
“The large number of Taiwanese companies must distinguish right from wrong, stand firm in their stance while drawing the line against separatist ‘Taiwan independence’ forces,” said spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian.
The TAO this month listed several of the island’s top politicians as “Taiwanese independence diehards” and warned that authorities “will pursue criminal responsibility” for life.
When asked if the fine was linked to the list, Zhu reiterated that “hard-core” politicians, their affiliated companies and backers “will be severely punished according to the law.”
Two units from the Far East have confirmed that they were fined more than 88 million yuan ($ 13 million) in China for violating environmental protection, fire safety, taxation and environmental protection. ‘other regulations.
“It seems to me to be another small increase from targeting Taiwanese individuals to businesses,” Kharis Templeman, political scientist with the Hoover Project on Taiwan, wrote on Twitter.
“I imagine there will be significant resistance to this. Local partners are also making money,” he added.
While relations between China and Taiwan are at their lowest in decades, Beijing has largely avoided punitive measures against Taiwanese companies that could impact Chinese investors.
Margaret McCuaig-Johnston, an expert at the China Institute at the University of Alberta, said the BAT warning suggests that may have changed.
“Like Canadian and Australian companies, Taiwanese companies are now finding that doing business in China carries a much higher risk than in other countries,” she wrote on Twitter. “Those who cannot afford to have their businesses suddenly hit with malicious and fabricated accusations should branch out into other countries.”
Far Eastern is one of the largest conglomerates in Taiwan with companies in the textile, construction, hotel and Sogo department store chain.