Punishing ‘Taiwan independence’ diehards: Sword of rule of law defends national unity
Published: Jun 21, 2024 10:51 PM
Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

Illustration: Xia Qing/GT

On Friday, a heavy blow from the Chinese judicial community shocked the world. The Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the ministries of public security, state security, and justice jointly issued a set of guidelines on imposing criminal punishments on diehard "Taiwan independence" separatists for conducting or inciting secession. This is a milestone in the development of China's rule of law, a severe crackdown on criminal acts that split the country and incite separatism, and a powerful safeguard of peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.

The promulgation of the guidelines fully reflects the specific application of Xi Jinping Thought on the Rule of Law and the Party's overall strategy for solving the Taiwan question in the new era in opposing "Taiwan independence" and promoting reunification. Based on the Anti-Secession Law, the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law, the guidelines provide more specific rules concerning conviction and sentencing in the event of such crimes as "Taiwan independence" diehards splitting and inciting secession of the country, as well as a clear guidance and legal basis for the judiciary.

The highlight of the guidelines is their precise crackdown on "Taiwan independence" activities, clarification of the specific applicable scenarios for the crime of secession and inciting secession, and the detailed regulations of identification criteria for key roles such as "ringleaders", "serious crimes" and "active participation." This will undoubtedly effectively crack down on the arrogance of the "Taiwan independence" diehards and make them understand that any attempt to challenge national sovereignty and territorial integrity will be futile and will be severely punished by law.

The emphasis on serious circumstances and the unrestricted time limit for prosecution demonstrate the rigidity and resolve of Chinese law. Criminal acts of collusion with foreign forces will be severely punished in accordance with the law, demonstrating zero tolerance for collusion with external forces to undermine national sovereignty and security. In addition, the guidelines also clearly stipulate the prosecution period for continuous or continuing criminal acts to ensure that no criminal acts are missed.

The balance of leniency and severity in the guidelines reflects the fairness and humanity of the rule of law. For the "Taiwan independence" diehards who are willing to voluntarily abandon their separatist stance, no longer carry out separatist activities, and actively eliminate the harmful consequences, the guidelines provide an opportunity for them to correct their errors and make a new start. This is both severe punishment for the perpetrators and tolerance for those who repent, demonstrating the educational and rehabilitating functions of the rule of law.

Protecting litigation rights and following legal procedures ensures that while severely punishing crimes, the legitimate rights and interests of defendants can also be protected, demonstrating the fairness and transparency of the rule of law. In particular, it is clarified that trials in absentia can be applied in accordance with the law to criminal cases involving "Taiwan independence" diehards, which not only reflects the seriousness of the law, but also demonstrates the modernization and internationalization of China's judiciary.

Finally, the guidelines emphasize the functional role of each department and require judicial authorities to severely punish the criminal acts of "Taiwan independence" diehards in accordance with the law. This is not only a stern warning to the "Taiwan independence" diehards, but also a firm defense of national unity and territorial integrity, fully demonstrating the Chinese government's strong determination and powerful capabilities.

To sum up, the guidelines are undoubtedly a sharp sword for China to safeguard national unity and crack down on "Taiwan independence" crimes. Its release is not only a stern warning to separatists, but also a legal education for all citizens, including Taiwan compatriots. It also sends a strong signal to the world that China firmly opposes separatism and safeguards peace. We hope that this sword of the rule of law can become a powerful guarantee for stabilizing the situation in the Taiwan Straits and promoting peaceful development across the Straits.