Trump Signs Taiwan Travel Act

Mar 21, 2018, 03:35
Trump Signs Taiwan Travel Act

On Friday, US President Donald Trump signed a controversial legislation that encourages the US government to send some of its senior officials to Taiwan to meet with Taiwanese officers and vice versa.

The tweet comes amid many statements of gratitude and promises of commitment from Taiwanese government officials.

China said the Taiwan Travel Act violated US commitments not to restore direct official contacts with Taiwan that were severed when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979.

Trump signed the bill on Friday.

U.S. representatives can already travel to democratic Taiwan and Taiwanese officials occasionally visit the White House, but meetings are usually low profile to avoid offending China.

China voiced its displeasure with Trump's signing of the Taiwan Travel Act, saying that it "severely violates the one-China principle, the political foundation of the China-U.S. relationship, and the three joint communiques between China and the U.S".

China's Ministry of National Defense said Taiwan is a part of China and any matters regarding it are "completely internal affairs".

Washington cut formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979 in favor of Beijing under its "one China" policy, but it maintains trade relations with Taiwan and sells it weapons.

In 1979, the USA adopted the "One China" policy of recognizing Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.

Douglas Paal, who served as USA representative to Taiwan from 2002 to 2006, said the legislation did not change anything real as it was non-binding.

"It also shows that the United States is pushing back against the PRC's bullying and conveys a powerful statement of support to the people of Taiwan and its democratically elected leaders".

"We urge the US side to correct its mistake, stop official exchanges between US and Taiwan officials and substantively raising relations, and prudently and appropriately handle the Taiwan issue to avoid causing serious harm to Sino-US ties and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region".

"They don't authorise these trips because the policy judgment is that the costs in relations with China would outweigh the benefits in relations with Taiwan", Paal said.

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