China has taken aim at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, announcing new sanctions on it and other organizations after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met there with the leader of Taiwan.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday unveiled new sanctions on the Reagan library – as well as a Washington DC think tank, the Hudson Institute – for “providing a platform and convenience to Taiwan separatist activities,” the Associated Press reported.
Despite repeated warnings from China trying to control the actions of U.S. politicians, McCarthy and other House representatives met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen at the Reagan Library in California on Wednesday. During the meeting, Tsai was given a leadership award from the Hudson Institute, AP reported.
A statement from the foreign ministry also named two high-level figures associated with each organization, saying they would be frozen out of the Chinese economy and barred from entering the country. The people named were:
Sarah May Stern, chair of the Hudson Institute Board of Trustees
John P. Walters, president and CEO of the Hudson Institute
John Heubusch, former executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
Joanne Drake, chief administrative officer of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation
The sanctioning of U.S. organizations and individuals follows China’s repeated attempts to coerce McCarthy into not meeting with Tsai. Days before the meeting, the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles said the move would “repeat disastrous past mistakes” and “only strengthen the Chinese people’s strong will and determination to share a common enemy and support national unity.”
The sanctions also came after China launched a special patrol of the Taiwan Strait and deployed an aircraft carrier strike group near Taiwan. China regularly sends warplanes and warships near the island as an intimidation tactic, and sanctioned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her family after she visited Taiwan in August.
China and Taiwan split in 1949 in a civil war that never officially ended. Since then, China’s openly stated goal of reabsorbing the democratic and capitalist island has grown into one of the world’s most sensitive geopolitical flashpoints.