China Sanctions Ex-US Lawmaker and Taiwan Supporter Mike Gallagher

BEIJING – China has imposed sanctions on former U.S. lawmaker Mike Gallagher, banning him from entering the country and freezing his assets, in response to his actions that Beijing claims interfere with China’s internal affairs, the foreign ministry announced on Tuesday.

The sanctions also prohibit Chinese organizations and individuals from trading and cooperating with Gallagher. The ministry did not provide specific details on Gallagher’s alleged infractions.

Gallagher, a Republican, is known for his strong criticism of China and his vocal support for Taiwan, a democratically governed island that Beijing claims as its own. In February, Gallagher visited Taiwan and met with both then-President Tsai Ing-wen and current President Lai Ching-te. During his visit, he expressed bipartisan support for Taiwan and referred to Tsai as “a leader within the free world.”

In a related diplomatic move, China rebuked U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday for congratulating Lai on his inauguration. China regards Lai as a separatist. These developments highlight the ongoing tensions between China and the United States, particularly over Taiwan, and Beijing’s sensitivity to international support for the island’s government.