Seafood restaurant chain Hai Pa Wang’s statement that it supports the “one China” policy could create a “domino effect” that could affect other Taiwanese businesses, a Chinese academic said.
The company on Monday issued a statement in the form of an advert in the Chinese-language Want Daily, saying it supports Beijing’s “one China” principle and that it has no relationship with President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) family other than that between “a tenant and a landlord.”
“Hai Pa Wang firmly supports the idea that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one China and our commitment to a peaceful win-win situation across the Strait is unshakable,” the statement read.
The restaurant chain — which has branches in Taiwan and China — has been viewed as supporting Taiwanese independence, with investors said to have close ties to Tsai.
It was recently fined by Chinese authorities for allegedly mislabeling products made at its factory in Chengdu in China’s Sichuan Province.
In an editorial in the Global Times, Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies deputy director Ni Yongjie (倪永杰) said Hai Pa Wang’s public statement is the first pro-Beijing message to come from from a pan-green business group and might have a “domino effect” on other Taiwanese businesses.
Statements by the government accusing Beijing of political interference in fining Hai Pa Wang are “naive” and “glib,” Ni said.
Hai Pa Wang’s statement is “the first shot” showing the divide between Taiwanese businesses and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government, he said.
Beijing must “strike as the law requires” against entities that promote Taiwanese independence, he added.
Ni was referring to Mainland Affairs Council Minister Katharine Chang’s (張小月) statement calling on Beijing to stop “putting political labels” on Taiwanese businesses and a Presidential Office statement accusing Beijing of political interference in the affairs of Taiwanese businesspeople in China.
China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Minister Zhang Zhijun (張志軍) said that Hai Pa Wang was fined for failing sanitation inspections, adding that it was a legal move and was not politically motivated.
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