Economy

In Taiwan, protesters and ex-presidents chafe against China

In Taiwan, protesters and ex-presidents chafe against China

Beijing protested to the United States on Thursday after the US Senate passed a bill aimed at forging closer ties between Washington and Taipei.

Hua's comments came a day after the Senate unanimously passed the Taiwan Travel Act, which promotes visits between USA and Taiwanese officials at all levels and encourages Taiwanese cultural and economic representatives to conduct business in the U.S.

"The Foreign Ministry will keep developing an even more substantive cooperative relationship with the United States, to promote both sides' joint values and mutually-beneficial interests", it said.

The official Beijing Taiwan Affairs Office issued a more veiled threat stating that the law would violate China's one-China policy.

Currently, visits to the United States by Taiwan officials, including the president and vice president, are limited to brief "transit" stops on the way to other nations.

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USA 10-year Treasury bond has given a breakout of its recent lows of 120.03 raising concern in equity markets . The euro inched up to $1.2205 from $1.2203, and the British pound slipped to $1.3732 from $1.3771.

President Tsai Ing-wen meanwhile hailed the passage of the bill in a tweet, saying it was a symbol of America's long-standing support for Taiwan.

China has repeatedly expressed opposition to U.S. contacts with Taiwan, the independence of which is not recognized by Beijing as it regards the island as a breakaway province. "Nothing in USA or global law now prevents US officials from meeting with Taiwanese government officials", Ku noted.

China and Taiwan have been separately ruled since the Chinese civil war in the 1940s, when the Nationalists fled to Taiwan after their defeat by Mao Zedong's Communist forces.

Currently, the US has no formal relations with Taiwan, but guarantees the island's independence.

Against that backdrop, Beijing may respond more forcefully to attempts to advance ties between the United States and Taiwan.

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"We sternly warn Taiwan: not to rely on foreigners to build yourselves up, or it will only draw fire upon you", the office spokesperson said in a statement, directly threatening Taiwan and its officials.

In very different ways Wednesday, citizens of Taiwan used an important holiday to call for the 23 million people of this self-governing island - which Beijing claims as its territory - to have a greater say in their political identity. In the past, China has mainly demonstrated its displeasure with USA outreach to Taiwan by limiting or cutting off its own official exchanges with Washington.

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have grown since Tsai, the leader of the island's independence-leading Democratic Progressive Party, was elected president in 2016.

The passage came amid a spike in trade tensions, with Trump declaring the U.S. will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, targeting China and other trading partners.

On the language used in the Taiwan Travel Act, Su Chi (蘇起), a former secretary-general of Taiwan's National Security Council (NSC), said during a Friday radio interview that there are limits to what has been dubbed a breakthrough in Taiwan-U.S. relations as reflected in the act itself.

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On the previous day, Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and said Pyongyang is fully ready to talk with Washington. The US still wants South Korea to be part of a united front in dealing with what it sees as a potentially risky adversary.


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