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China lashes out at USA over Taiwan travel bill

China lashes out at USA over Taiwan travel bill

"It is highly unlikely that the US will send top-level officials to Taiwan as it would be seen by Beijing as crossing the red line", agreed Phillip Yang of the Taiwan Association of International Relations, who suspected President Tsai would avoid making any dramatic visits to Washington for the same reason.

The act was passed by Congress a year after the United States shifted formal diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing.

The US cut formal ties with Taiwan when it recognized China in 1979 but the two maintain robust unofficial relations, and the US is legally bound to respond to threats against the self-governing island democracy.

"Since the U.S.is bound by domestic law to act on behalf of the island in that instance, it would only give substance to the observation that the descent into hell is easy".

The island is the last hold out of Nationalist Chinese forces that fled the mainland during China's civil war in the late 1940s.

Chinese state-run media threatened conflict if the legislation is signed into law.

"Which, if she persisted, would lead to the inevitable effect of triggering the Anti-Secession Law that allows Beijing to use force to prevent the island from seceding", the paper said.

"We are firmly against the act", An was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. In the past, China has mainly demonstrated its displeasure with US outreach to Taiwan by limiting or cutting off its own official exchanges with Washington.

Taiwan is hoping to boost relations with 16 south and southeast Asian countries as Chinese arrivals dwindle.

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The act is believed to clear the way for the top leaders of Taiwan to come to DC, including President Tsai Ing-wen. The president also suggested the United States might abandoned its one-China policy. Navarro is one of the key advocates of Trump tougher trade tariff policy shift announced this week.

Taiwan is meanwhile considering expanding its contact with the US, with a US-Taiwan defence industry conference to be held in the southwest city of Kaohsiung in May.

Taiwan could become a USA pawn, he said, which was something the Tsai government must consider.

The legislation, which needs only President Donald Trump's signature to become law, says it should be United States policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, and permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the USA "under respectful conditions" and meet U.S. officials.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry thanked the United States for the unanimous support for the bill and for the USA government's increasingly friendly and open attitude towards Taiwan.

The last senior visit to the United States took place in 1995 when then-President Lee Tung-hui visited Cornell for a speech. The act also encourages the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Taiwan's de facto embassy, to "conduct business in the United States", including with members of Congress and government officials.

The passage came amid a spike in trade tensions, with Trump declaring the USA will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, targeting China and other trading partners.

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