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Rumormongers in Taiwan to face sanctions

By Zhang Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-16 09:11
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Political commentators smearing the Chinese mainland will be punished

The Chinese mainland will take action against Taiwan political commentators who are spreading rumors to smear the mainland, Chen Binhua, a spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said on Wednesday.

In recent years, certain political commentators from the island have been fabricating and spreading rumors, including that mainland people cannot afford tea eggs, which often fueled netizens' antagonism on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.

Chen said that some commentators from Taiwan have disregarded the facts of mainland development and progress, deliberately fabricated false and negative information about the mainland and widely disseminated it through television, the internet, newspapers and other media outlets.

He singled out five Taiwan commentators, including Edward Huang, who mocked mainland residents for being unable to afford zhacai — pickled vegetables — a cheap and common food, and Wang Yi-chuan, who claimed there are no backrests on mainland high-speed trains.

"Their erroneous statements have misled some people in Taiwan, fueled hostility and opposition between both sides of the Strait, and harmed the feelings of compatriots," Chen said, adding that the mainland will take measures to sanction the five individuals and their families.

"Silence and indulgence toward evil are injustices and harm goodness," he said. "Public opinion is not beyond the law. Any act of fabricating and spreading rumors, disrupting social order and harming the honor and interests of the country will be punished by the law."

When asked about its response to the fact many members of the island's incoming "government team" are pro-independence, the office said it will introduce legal measures to combat separatist activities seeking "independence "in Taiwan.

Chen said that advocating "independence" goes against the national interest, and stringent legal measures will be implemented to combat activities that seek to split the country or incite separatism.

Taiwan's incoming leader, Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party, will take office on Monday, replacing Tsai Ing-wen. He has previously identified himself as a pragmatic advocate for "Taiwan independence".

He recently nominated several officials who have displayed strong anti-mainland sentiments for various positions, including Wu Jau-shieh, the island's head of external affairs, as the head of the island's security council.

Chen said the new leader of the Taiwan region must seriously address the question of cross-Strait relations in his inauguration speech on Monday and make a clear choice between peaceful development or confrontation across the Taiwan Strait.

Recently, many pro-reunification parties and groups in Taiwan have joined forces with various sectors of society to launch a signature campaign for peace, urging Lai to declare his adherence to the one-China principle and recognize that the majority of Taiwan people want peace.

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