China fines Taiwan-based company as cross-strait tensions escalate

© Kyodo News

China has fined Taiwan's Far Eastern Group operating in the mainland for violations of business regulations, the government said Wednesday, in a move that would further escalate cross-strait tensions.

The Communist-led government said it has imposed a fine of 474 million yuan ($74 million) and a back tax on Far Eastern, which runs businesses ranging from hotels to petrochemicals, criticizing the firm for providing financial support for Taiwan independence forces.

Taiwan's independence-leaning President Tsai Ing-wen immediately lambasted the mainland's decision on Wednesday, saying it would seriously damage cross-strait relations.

China and democratic Taiwan have been governed separately since they split in 1949 as the result of a civil war. Beijing has regarded the self-ruled island as a renegade province to be reunified with the mainland, by force if necessary.

The island's economy, meanwhile, has been depending on China for decades, with many Taiwan-based companies operating in the mainland.