Taiwan: Beijing Urged to 'Punish' Taiwan with Economic Sanctions
The China Daily quoted Xu Bodong, director of the Institute of Taiwan Studies at Beijing Union University, as saying that "severe punishment" should be used to stop a Taiwanese break with China.
"It is high time that we should mobilize all resources, including economic measures, to crack down on pro-independence forces," he said, adding that many Chinese researchers wanted to see tougher action.
The political leanings of Taiwanese doing business in China were brought into question last month when the founder of one of the island's largest plastics groups was attacked in the leading People's Daily for his close ties with President Chen Shui-bian.
Beijing, which considers Taiwan an inalienable part of China, is concerned that Chen is pushing for a greater degree of formal independence for the island, which has been ruled separately since the end of a civil war in 1949.
It has previously said that businessmen who support independence were not welcome on the mainland.
But as cross-Strait relations have plummeted in recent months, largely on the back of China's response to Chen's campaign for May elections, economic ties have continued to grow.
The report noted that Taiwan investors have so far funded more than 70,000 projects on the mainland, with contracted investment of more than 80 billion dollars.
It said that China, together with Hong Kong, bought 34.5 percent of Taiwan's exports in 2003, becoming the island's biggest export market.
The newspaper quoted a report by Wang Jianmin, a researcher with the Institute of Taiwan Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who said that an economic blockade of the island would lead to paralysis within two months.
"If the mainland decided to impose an economic sanction against Taiwan such as limiting or even banning imports from the island, Taiwan's overseas trade sector would be the first to suffer and see a one-third drop in its exports," Wang said.
"Then the manufacturing and production sector would be hit causing mass shutdowns among these firms and a major economic recession."
China's vice commerce minister Ma Xiuhong said last week that
the rights of Taiwan investors would be protected, even as the government remained
"firmly opposed" to those seeking to do business here while pushing