Trump Signs Travel Act Encouraging US, Taiwan Officials' Visits - White House

Hannah Rogers
March 18, 2018

US President Donald Trump defied warnings from Beijing on Friday and signed the Taiwan Travel Act, which allows representatives of America to meet officials from the self-ruled island.

Since news broke of Trump's signing of the travel act, Taiwan has vowed to strengthen ties with the U.S.

"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".

In a statement after Mr 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".

It would also have far greater implications for the U.S., Taiwan and China than the phone call between Tsai and Trump Dec. 2, 2016, when the latter was still president-elect, which made headlines around the world.

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Taiwan's presidential office said in a statement earlier on Saturday that the United States was Taiwan's most important ally and thanked the country for its steadfast support. "We urge the U.S. 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.

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

Residents of Taipeh also appeared happy with the development, with one man telling DW: "Taiwan is a political entity; we should have the right to officially visit the U.S.".

"China is strongly dissatisfied with that and firmly opposes it", it said, adding that the United States should "stop pursuing any official ties with Taiwan or improving its current relations with Taiwan in any substantive way".

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