US Highlights Ties With Taiwan, a Day After China's Warning

Sergio Conner
March 22, 2018

By Wednesday afternoon, local time, Taiwan's defense ministry said the Chinese aircraft carrier had exited Taiwan's ADIZ around 12:30 pm to travel in a southwesterly direction.

Before this law was passed, US policy has been to prohibit such officials from reciprocal visits. After becoming president, though, Mr. Trump reiterated America's "one China policy", which acknowledges but does not recognize Beijing's claim on Taiwan, and sought Mr. Xi's help in pressing North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

"Any actions and tricks to split China are doomed to failure and will meet with the people's condemnation and the punishment of history", Xi said on Tuesday. This year is the first year for implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (held in October 2017) and also marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the policy of reform and opening-up to the world (in 1978), Xi said.

Relations between Taiwan and China have been quite poor since Tsai took office in 2016.

Xi, the Chinese leader, said China would seek the peaceful reunification of China and work for the Taiwanese to enjoy the benefits of Chinese development.

To begin with, it is important to note that the US adoption of the "one China" policy is not an endorsement of China's sovereignty claim over Taiwan, but rather is an agreement to maintain formal relations with China and unofficial relations with Taiwan.

Ms. Tsai said Wednesday night that she was "grateful to the Trump administration" for pushing ahead with the Taiwan Travel Act. The passage of the TTA is not merely symbolic, but reflects a long overdue reassessment of USA policy toward Taiwan. Unofficial ties were then governed by the Taiwan Relations Act that was passed the same year.

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USA and Chinese policy toward Taiwan are based on a so-called "one-China policy" but both nations have sharply different interpretations of the policy.

The law should also facilitate White House public statements regarding meetings with visiting Taiwanese officials and end petty restrictions such as barring USA officials from meetings at the Taiwanese diplomatic residence in Washington known as Twin Oaks.

She refuses publicly to accept the "One China" formula agreed between Beijing and Taiwan's previous government.

President Tsai welcomed the new law on Wednesday.

A test of how things might change under the legislation will come with the opening of a new diplomatic compound for the American Institute in Taiwan.

"The Chinese side urges the U.S. side to correct its mistake, stop official exchanges and upgrading substantive relations between the United States and Taiwan, and prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, so as to avoid causing serious damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait region", he added.

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