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China sanctions seven top Taiwanese officials

Beijing: China on Tuesday announced sanctions on seven "die-hard" pro-independence Taiwanese politicians and officials, including Taipei's representative to Washington, amid concerns over the increasing visits by foreign dignitaries to the self-ruled island claimed by Beijing.

The sanctions were announced by Beijing following trips to the island by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in early August and a US Congressional delegation led by Democratic Senator Ed Markey on Monday.

Also Last week, Lithuanian Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications Agne Vaiciukeviciute visited Taiwan. Lithuania is part of the European Union.

China has already imposed sanctions against Pelosi and Agne and held high-intensity military drills in Taiwan Strait, sparking fears of an armed conflict with Taiwan, which China claims as part of its mainland.

After Pelosi's visit, China is concerned that there will be a flurry of visits by top officials from the US and allied countries to the self-ruled Island.

China announced sanctions against seven Taiwanese government officials and politicians, saying they pushed a pro-independence agenda for the breakaway island.

The Taiwan Affairs Office of the ruling Communist Party of China said on Tuesday those sanctioned and their family members would not be allowed to enter mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau. They will not be permitted to do business with the Chinese mainland.

Their affiliated companies and financial sponsors would not be allowed to gain profits from the mainland, a spokesman of the office was quoted by state-run Xinhua as saying.

The Taiwan office would take other necessary measures and those sanctioned would be held accountable for life," the spokesman said.

For a period of time, a small number of Taiwan independence die-hards have tried their best to collude with external forces to carry out independence' provocations, deliberately inciting cross-strait confrontation, and wantonly undermining the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait. They performed extremely poorly during Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, China's Taiwan Affairs Office

spokesman said.

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