Chinese state media makes war threat over US Taiwan bill

CNA file

That followed similarly unanimous House passage on January 9, 2018, almost a year after the bill was introduced by Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH). Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and a key sponsor of the bill.

Beijing considers Taiwan a wayward province subject to eventual unification, by force if necessary, and has repeatedly warned the U.S. and other countries against forging ties with Taipei or allowing visits by senior Taiwanese officials, especially the president and vice-president.

Hua urged Washington to cease mutual visits by senior officials of the U.S. and Taiwan, and not to upgrade the level of substantial relations with the island. Just $5 a month.

The Taiwan Travel Act, which passed the Senate with unanimous consent Thursday and earlier passed the House without opposition states that "the USA government should encourage visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials at all levels". 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.

A spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry rebuked the Taiwan Travel Act, saying it "seriously violates" the One-China policy.

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

The act uses the word "should" in relation to how the US should execute it, so the USA government has no obligation to actually enforce it, Su said. In other words, the Trump administration can argue that Congress has forced its hand on the issue.

China's hostility towards Taiwan has risen since the election as president of Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2016.

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

"China is strongly dissatisfied with this and resolutely opposes it, and has already lodged stern representations with the US side", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday.

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China, meanwhile, was predictably displeased.

But in Beijing, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the bill seriously violated the one-China principle and that the U.S. should cease official exchanges with Taiwan.

Hua said that the measure was not legally binding and urged the U.S.to cut off official exchanges with Taiwan or risk damaging ties with Beijing.

"It is critical for the United States to strengthen our ties with Taiwan, especially as China increases efforts to isolate Taiwan and block its participation in global organizations", he said.

"It must handle Taiwan-related issues cautiously and properly so as to avoid causing any major disruption or damage to the China-U.S. relations", Hua told reporters.

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Beijing considers Taiwan as one of its territories. Taipei did not specify that the annual drill simulated an invasion by China, but said it was meant to "show determination to safeguard peace in the Taiwan Strait and national security".

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