Aliwan Fiesta 2024
China sanctions ex-US lawmaker and supporter of Taiwan
China sanctions ex-US lawmaker and supporter of Taiwan
China sanctions ex-US lawmaker and supporter of Taiwan
by DZRH News22 May 2024
Chairman U.S. Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) speaks with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and former CIA director and former defense secretary Leon Panetta, during a hearing of the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., January 30, 2024. REUTERS/Nathan Howard/File Photo

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has banned former U.S. lawmaker Mike Gallagher from entering the country and taken other measures in response to his words and actions that "interfered in China's internal affairs," the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

Under the sanctions, China could freeze any assets Gallagher might at some point have in the country and ban organisations and individuals there from trading and cooperating with him, the ministry said.

It did not go into detail on what Gallagher had said or done.

Gallagher, a Republican, has been a fierce critic of China and a strong supporter of Taiwan, a democratically governed island Beijing claims as its own.


In February, Gallagher visited Taiwan and met both then-President Tsai Ing-wen and current President Lai Ching-te. He told Tsai the trip was to show bipartisan support for the island and called her "a leader within the free world".

Gallagher said the sanctions showed the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was "perpetually paranoid" and viewed itself as in a struggle against Western democracy, universal human rights, and freedom of speech as part of what he called the "New Cold War."

"As the CCP attempts to silence defenders of freedom, we should continue to shine a light on the CCP's growing authoritarian repression at home and aggression abroad and stand firm in promoting the security, freedom, and prosperity of America and its allies," Gallagher said in a statement via the Hudson Institute, a U.S. think tank where he is a fellow.

There was no moral equivalence between U.S. and Chinese sanctions because Beijing targeted Americans for "speaking their mind," he said.


He added that he looked forward to returning to Taiwan in the near future.

Hudson said Gallagher did not have any assets in China.

China rebuked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday for congratulating Lai on his inauguration. Lai is regarded by China as a separatist.


(Reporting by Beijing newsroom and Michael Martina in Washington; Editing by Andrew Heavens, Nick Macfie, Deepa Babington and Daniel Wallis)

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