US law will upset one-China principle

By Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2018/2/7 23:29:51

Taiwan Travel Act would allow two-way high-level US visits

The Taiwan Travel Act, which has been referred to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has the potential to upend Sino-US relations and obliterate the one-China principle, which has been the basis for China-US cooperation for decades, Chinese analysts warned.

H.R.535 - Taiwan Travel Act, would allow US officials at all levels to visit Taiwan and meet Taiwanese counterparts, and allow high-level Taiwan officials to be received by US officials in the US.

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives on January 9, would also "encourage the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office and any other instrumentality established by Taiwan to conduct business in the United States."

The Taiwan Travel Act is another indication of US efforts to restrain China by attempting to upgrade Taiwan's status among US allies and in international society, Li Haidong, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"Since Tsai Ing-wen became the leader of Taiwan, the island has been seeking closer political, economic and military ties with the US," said Lü Cuncheng, a research fellow at the Institute of Taiwan Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "The US is also playing a two-faced game by continuing to develop Sino-US tie in the public arena, while privately drawing Taiwan to its side," he said.

Li believes the US House of Representatives which supported the bill is attempting to legislate restrictions on a US president's ability to make policy and to create barriers to Sino-US ties relating to Taiwan.

While there is no guarantee that the Taiwan Travel Act will pass the Senate and go to Trump for his signature, he may attempt to use the bill as leverage in negotiations with China, said Li.

Another related bill, H.R. 3320, which passed the House on the same day, directs the US Secretary of State to develop a strategy to restore observer status for Taiwan in the Geneva-based World Health Organization, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said that "the act violates the one-China principle established by 'the three China-US joint communiqués.'"

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang urged the US side to adhere to the principles of the one-China principle and the three Sino-US joint communiqués, and not make any official visits or contacts with Taiwan, nor send any wrong message to "Taiwan independence" secessionist forces.

"Since China and the US enjoy great shared benefits, the US should avoid creating rifts on the most consensual and basic one-China principle, otherwise Sino-US cooperation in other areas could also be affected," Li noted.

Low-level visits only

For decades communication between the US and Taiwan has only been on an unofficial low-level basis, Lü noted.

Since "diplomatic relations" between the US and Taiwan ended in 1979, leaders and top officials from diplomatic and defense departments of Taiwan have not been permitted to pay "official visits" to Washington, the PLA Daily reported in January. US officials dispatched to Taiwan have been mainly low-level officials representing business or education departments, which are "not so sensitive," the PLA Daily said.

Newspaper headline: Proposed law would upset decades-old US policy on China


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