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Choose one side, China tells Taiwanese firms as it punishes the conglomerate




TAIPEI, Nov 22 (Reuters) – Taiwanese firms operating in China must draw a line between themselves and supporters of independence, the Chinese government said on Monday after punishing a major Taiwanese firm for alleged business violations.

China, which claims democratically ruled Taiwan as its territory, has put pressure on the island to accept Beijing’s rule. He said earlier this month he would hold those who support the island’s formal independence, including companies, criminally liable.

China’s official Xinhua news agency said early Monday that law enforcement agencies across China had punished Taiwan’s Far East Group, which has interests ranging from hotels to petrochemicals, to a range of problems, from taxes to fire safety and that the investigation was ongoing.

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In a statement late Monday, responding to a question about whether the move was related to the targeting of “stubbornly pro-independence Taiwan” forces, China’s Taiwan Affairs Bureau did not make a direct connection, reiterating Xinhua’s allegations against company.

But he added in a separate sentence that those who support Taiwan’s independence threatened peace and stability and harmed the interests of the Chinese people.

“They and their affiliated companies and financiers should be punished in accordance with the law,” he said.

China welcomes Taiwanese companies but does not allow those supporting Taiwan independence to make money in China, the office added.

“Most Taiwanese businessmen and enterprises must distinguish right from wrong, stand firm, draw a clear line with the separatist forces of Taiwan’s independence, and take practical action to maintain the peaceful development of relations between the straits.” he said.

While the Far East Group did not respond to requests for comment, one of its listed units, Far Eastern New Century Corp. (1402.TW), said its textile operations in China had been inspected by law enforcement in the quarter. second, who found problems over taxes, fire safety and environmental protection.

He added that he had made almost all the changes that were required after being fined 36.5 million yuan ($ 5.72 million).

The Taiwanese government has not yet commented. Taiwan says it is already an independent country called the Republic of China, its official name, and that Beijing has no right to speak on its behalf or put pressure on its elected representatives.

(1 $ = 6.3810 Chinese Yen Renminbi)

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Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Edited by Alex Richardson

Our standards: Principles of Trust by Thomson Reuters.




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