China’s film regulator has banned mainland Chinese movies and stars from participating in an annual awards ceremony dubbed the “Chinese Oscars”.
The China Film Administration did not give any reason why it was boycotting the Golden Horse Awards, which take place in Taiwan.
It comes after a recent escalation of tensions between China and Taiwan.
China has demanded the “immediate cancellation” of a proposed arms sale by the US to Taiwan.
In July, it criticised the US for not adhering to its One China policy, under which the US recognises and only has formal ties with China, not Taiwan.
China regards Taiwan as part of its territory which should be reunited with the mainland, by force if necessary.
The decision to ban mainland participation in the awards is being seen as the latest move by Beijing to pile pressure on Taiwan in the wake of the arms deal.
What is the Golden Horse Awards?
The Golden Horse Awards is one of the most prestigious events in the Chinese-speaking world and this year will be held on 23 November in the capital of Taiwan, Taipei.
Mainland Chinese actors and films have entered, and won, in the past.
But Chinese state media CCTV reported on Wednesday that China’s film authority has suspended movies and personnel from the Chinese mainland from taking part in the 56th Golden Horse Film Festival.
Last year the awards caused controversy after several participants used it as a platform to express political views.
Taiwanese director Fu Yue who won the best documentary award, said in her acceptance speech that she hoped Taiwan would be recognised as “independent”.
Tu Men, an actor from mainland China, then followed up by saying he was honoured to present an award in “China, Taiwan”.
His words prompted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to speak out, saying that Taiwan had “never accepted the phrase ‘China, Taiwan’ and never would, because Taiwan is Taiwan”.
On Chinese social media site Weibo, some social media users celebrated the ban, saying the awards ceremony had turned into a “political event”.
“Art knows no boundaries, but this event is no longer about art,” said one commenter.
Why have tensions escalated recently?
On 9 July, the US approved a potential arms deal, estimated to be worth $2.2bn (£1.76bn), to Taiwan, angering China.
Last week Beijing said that it would stop issuing individual travel permits for Chinese visitors wanting to go to Taiwan – seen as a blow to Taiwan’s tourism industry.
China’s tourism ministry said its decision was spurred by “the current cross-strait situation”.
Earlier last month, Taiwan held live-fire drills coinciding with Chinese military exercises off the mainland coast facing the island, ramping up tensions.
Why is the topic of Taiwan so sensitive?
Taiwan is a self-governed democracy and for all practical purposes has acted independently since 1950, when China’s nationalist government was defeated by communist forces and fled there from the mainland.
But China considers the island to be a renegade province – not a country in its own right – which will one day, by force if necessary, be fully reunited with the mainland.
China insists that other countries can only have diplomatic ties with China or Taiwan, not both.
It says a potential arms deal between Taiwan and the US has violated this policy, with a spokesman saying it undermined “China’s sovereignty”.
Relations between Beijing and Taiwan have been especially tense since.