In Taiwan, protesters and ex-presidents chafe against China

  • In Taiwan, protesters and ex-presidents chafe against China

In Taiwan, protesters and ex-presidents chafe against China

The legislation only needs President Donald Trump's signature to become law.

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 US Senate on Wednesday passed a bill promoting closer ties with Taiwan - the Taiwan Travel Act - which has "dissatisfied and angered" China, leading Beijing to express its misgivings with Washington, according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Hua urged Washington to cease mutual visits by senior officials of the United States and Taiwan, and not to upgrade the level of substantial relations with the island.

The bill adds that it should be USA policy for high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States, meet with U.S. officials and conduct business in the country.

China's state media joined in the criticism on Friday, with the official China Daily newspaper saying passage of the act would encourage Tsai in pursuing formal independence, something Beijing says it will respond to with a military attack.

Furthermore, there is no mention of Taiwanese officials visiting Washington, D.C., which has always been prohibited for Taiwanese presidents, although they have in recent years been able to make transit stops in other places in the US, he noted. China has threatened to use force to bring Taiwan under its control.

"Since the United States is bound by domestic law to act on behalf of the island in that instance, it would only give substance to the observation that the descent into hell is easy", the newspaper said.

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) on Thursday said that it was too early to gauge the effects of China's "gift package" to Taiwan's financial sector.

In a second editorial, the widely-read state-run Global Times tabloid said China could "make targeted measures against pro-independence forces in Taiwan".

Green also pointed out that China will react to the passing of the act by going after Taiwan, not the USA, so the Taiwan government needs to be sure that "it really wants this".

While Chiang is still revered as a strong leader by some older residents, many in Taiwan oppose the use of his likeness or name in public spaces. Lee Chih-horng of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore anticipated the meeting will "provide a good opportunity for the U.S.to test Beijing's reaction", even though the United States will probably refrain from sending high-level officials whose presence would "provoke Beijing further".

Here again, Chinese spokesmen are pushing the talking point that elites in Taiwan and America are dishonestly pursuing a risky strategy that the good people of both countries would not support willingly.

"It is highly unlikely that the USA will send top-level officials to Taiwan as it would be seen by Beijing as crossing the red line", agreed Phillip Yang of the Taiwan Association of International Relations, who suspected President Tsai would avoid making any dramatic visits to Washington for the same reason.

China lodged a diplomatic protest with Washington over passage of the legislation ahead of Trump's likely approval.