China Protests US Bill Promoting Travel Between US, Taiwan

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

In a strong and direct editorial, the state publication China Daily mentions its fear of Taiwan pushing for independence once the bill becomes law, which would then force Beijing to act with force to bring Taiwan under its control.

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.

The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-U.S. relationship and the fundamental guideline for handling issues regarding Taiwan for the two countries, An said.

"Taiwan has already broken the present status - our position of adhering to the 1992 Consensus that upholds the one-China principle and opposing the so-called "Taiwan independence" is very clear", stated An Fengshan, spokesman for Taiwan's Affairs Office.

"We are firmly against the act", An was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency. "The exchanges between Taiwan and the USA should not rely on the opinions of China or any other nation", Lai said.

Hua urged the United States to "stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way".

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Trump sparked protest from China shortly after his election in 2016 by accepting a phone call from Taiwan's leader Tsai Ing-wen, an action seen as breaking the protocol of the One China policy.

Those favoring tougher policies toward China include Peter Navarro, a White House adviser in charge of trade and industrial policy.

Taiwan is a sore spot for Chinese relations because it is considered a rogue province by Beijing, rather than an independent country.

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

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

Ever since the Taiwan legislation was taken up by the House of Representatives, China has issued a steady stream of warnings that passing the bill would increase tensions between Beijing, Taipei, and Washington.

Noting the unanimous passage of the bill through Congress, the Communist Party newspaper Global Times said that reflected "growing nationalist sentiment in the U.S. in the face of China's rise".

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