Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Donald Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act, drawing China's ire

Donald Trump signs Taiwan Travel Act, drawing China's ire

After President Trump's approval of the Taiwan Travel Act March 16, the Office of the President released an official statement expressing gratitude for all of the support shown by US Congress and President Trump to the people of Taiwan.

"H.R. 535, the 'Taiwan Travel Act, ' which encourages visits between officials of the United States and Taiwan at all levels", the release said.

The United States does not have formal ties with Taiwan but is required by law to help it with self-defence and is the island's primary source of weapons.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's top agency in charge of China policy, urged Beijing to respond rationally to the passing of the act, instead of continuing its recent suppression of Taiwan, which it said is not productive to peaceful interaction across the strait.

The US president is also reportedly considering a new package of tariffs on imports to the United States as early as next week, this time targeting more than 100 Chinese products worth up to $60 billion (€48.5 billion).

In a statement after Trump's signing of the bill, the Chinese embassy said clauses of the legislation "severely violate the one-China principle, the political foundation of the China-US relationship".

The TTA in theory allows high-level exchanges of government officials to take place both in Taiwan and the US, while also encouraging Taiwanese state institutions to promote business with local and federal USA officials.

China's hostility towards Taiwan has risen since the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, in 2016.

Observers say the new law may affect US-China cooperation in dealing with North Korea's missile and nuclear development.

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".

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