Guidelines impose criminal penalties on 'staunch supporters of Taiwan independence'


Chinese authorities have released a set of guidelines on imposing criminal penalties on those staunch supporters of "Taiwan independence" for engaging in or inciting separatist activities. The guidelines, jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the ministries of public security, state security and justice, will come into effect upon publication.

The document said that a small number of die-hard "Taiwan independence" separatists conducted activities that seriously endanger the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait, as well as harm the common interests of compatriots on both sides and the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation.

The guidelines are made to legally punish individuals involved in separatist activities and inciting crimes of splitting the country, effectively safeguarding national sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity.

The guidelines define criminal acts of splitting the country to include initiating or establishing "Taiwan independence" separatist organizations, implementing separatist actions, attempting to change Taiwan's legal status as part of China through amendments to Taiwan's regulations or "referendums".

The guidelines consider crimes such as advocating for Taiwan's entry into international organizations limited to sovereign states or engaging in official exchanges and military contacts abroad to create the "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the international community.

Criminal behaviors also encompass distorting or falsifying facts about Taiwan being a part of China in fields such as education, culture, history and media, or suppressing political parties, groups, or individuals supporting peaceful cross-Strait relations and national unity, according to the document.

For ringleaders or those with significant crimes, life imprisonment or a term of imprisonment of more than ten years can be imposed, with the possibility of the death penalty for those causing particularly severe harm to the country and the people, it said.

Active participants may face imprisonment ranging from three to ten years, while others involved may receive sentences of up to three years, detention, control, or deprivation of political rights, it added.

For cases requiring prompt trials, with the conditions for the application of absentee trial procedures, a trial should be scheduled, the document said.