Mainland opposes any official contact between US, Taiwan: spokesman

Mainland opposes any official contact between US, Taiwan: spokesman

Mainland opposes any official contact between US, Taiwan: spokesman

The Chinese government has lodged a formal complaint with Washington over the bill, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference, adding that the Senate's vote violated the One China policy.

The legislation, which needs only President Donald Trump's signature to become law, says it should be U.S. 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 United States officials. The US House of Representatives passed the bill in January, thus the legislation needs to be signed by US President Donald Trump to become law.

U.S. academics on Thursday said that Taiwan should think about the implications of the act, especially what it means for relations across the Taiwan Strait, and to assess whether the nation can stand up to the pressure that will come from China as a result.

Ji Ye, a Taiwan affairs specialist from Xiamen University, said the bill would negatively impact Sino-US ties because it harms Beijing's interests and goes against the one-China policy.

She urged Washington to cease all official exchanges with Taipei and "prudently" handle issues related to Taiwan "to avoid seriously interfering with and damaging China-U.S. relations".

"We sternly warn Taiwan: not to rely on foreigners to build yourselves up, or it will only draw fire upon you", the office spokesperson said in a statement, directly threatening Taiwan and its officials.

China insists on eventual unification of the two sides, by use of force if needed. It would be unusual for a president to veto a measure that passed unanimously.

Sun Yang-ming, deputy director of the Chinese Cyan Geese Peace and Education Foundation, a Kuomintang think tank, said while the passage of the travel bill appeared to be a diplomatic win for Taipei and a breakthrough in US-Taiwan relations, Tsai must look at the bigger picture.

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

President Tsai Ing-wen meanwhile hailed the passage of the bill in a tweet, saying it was a symbol of America's long-standing support for Taiwan.

The United States should "stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way", she said.

In very different ways Wednesday, citizens of Taiwan used an important holiday to call for the 23 million people of this self-governing island - which Beijing claims as its territory - to have a greater say in their political identity.

Green also pointed out that China will react to the passing of the act by going after Taiwan, not the US, so the Taiwan government needs to be sure that "it really wants this".

He made amends by vowing to uphold the One China policy shortly before Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort - but infuriated Beijing again last summer by approving a $1.3 billion arms sale to Taiwan.

Another DPP lawmaker, Lo Chih-cheng, warned that China might react in an exaggerated manner to the bill and tensions across the Taiwan Strait could escalate.

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