Trump signs bill on Taiwan cooperation, defying China's warnings

Glen Norman
March 18, 2018

Since news broke of Trump's signing of the travel act, Taiwan has vowed to strengthen ties with the U.S.

The bill stems from the Taiwan Relations Act (PL 96-8), which the Carter administration passed into law on April 12, 1979, around the time when China was rising as a superpower.

The Taiwan Travel Act (HR 535), which USA lawmakers presented to Trump on March 5, aims to increase travel and visits "at all levels", including state officials and business leaders, both on the American and the Taiwanese side.

In a statement, the ministry said that China urges the US to handle Taiwan-related issues cautiously to avoid causing serious harm to Sino-US ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region.

The White House said the Bill, which is non-binding, would have gone into effect yesterday morning, even if Mr Trump had not signed it.

Chinese officials said the move broke with decades of precedent and violated the "One China" policy. But it maintains trade relations with the island and sells it weapons, angering China.

"China is strongly dissatisfied with that and firmly opposes it", the statement said, adding that the United States should "stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way".

Stanley Kao (高碩泰), Taiwan's representative to the U.S., said he is looking forward to more interaction between the two countries.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has persistently refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus and its core concept of the "one China" principle since coming to power in 2016, a fact Beijing has taken as a reason to freeze bilateral exchanges between the two countries. High-level Taiwan officials should be permitted to enter the United States "under respectful conditions" to meet U.S. officials, while Taiwanese economic and cultural representatives should be encouraged to conduct business in the United States.

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