Trump signs Taiwan travel bill that China has opposed

China sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has long stated its desire for reunification

Presidential spokesperson Lin Heming (林鶴明) released an official statement on March 17, Taiwan time, several hours after President Trump gave his signature of approval to the Taiwan Travel Act.

Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage recommended in a paper published by a Washington-based think tank Friday that U.S. President Donald Trump and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), as well as Cabinet-level officials from both sides, should meet each other to discuss issues of mutual interest. It also encourages growing an economic and cultural relationship. "We urge the USA side to adhere to the one-China policy and honor the commitments it made in the three joint communiqués, stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way", he reiterated on March 17. Rather, it sees it as a rogue province that will eventually be folded back into the communist state - by use of force if necessary.

In a paper co-authored by think tank Project 2049 Institute's Ian Easton and Mark Stokes, Armitage made key policy recommendations for U.S. -Taiwan relations, one of which is that Trump and Tsai should have a face-to-face meeting. The move could further strain US-China ties.

The Taiwan Travel Act will allow unrestricted two-way travel for officials from the United States and Taiwan, thus restoring direct official USA contacts with the self-ruled island, which were cut in 1979 when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing. High-level Taiwanese officials should be permitted to enter the United States "under respectful conditions" to meet with USA officials, while Taiwanese economic and cultural representatives should be encouraged to conduct business in the United States, according to the bill.

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Taiwan's Foreign Ministry, however, has welcomed the new law, calling it a "friendly move" and vowing to deepen cooperation with the U.S. at all levels.

Another young woman said she was not very concerned about China's reaction and that "Taiwan should have the courage to take this step, sooner or later".

"China is strongly dissatisfied with that and firmly opposes it", it said, adding that the U.S. should "stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way". You can sign up to receive it directly here.

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