China Isn't Happy Trump Signed The Taiwan Travel Act

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

US President Donald Trump on Friday signed legislation promoting contacts between Washington officials and their Taiwanese counterparts, angering China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory.

The White House said the bill will pave the way for more official exchanges with Taipei.

Such a meeting, suggested by the authors of the paper titled "U.S. -Taiwan Relations in a Sea of Change", would address issues of shared interest and concern, and would shatter longstanding practice that dates back to 1979 when the two countries severed official diplomatic ties.

The Taiwan Travel Act will allow unrestricted two-way travel for officials from the United States and Taiwan, thus restoring direct official U.S. contacts with the self-ruled island, which were cut in 1979 when Washington switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing.

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".

Before his inauguration, Trump angered Beijing by speaking on the phone with Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, and suggesting that he may use the one-China policy as a bargaining chip to advance United States interests in trade, currency and strategic issues such as the disputed South China Sea.

It could potentially be a stepping stone for strengthened bilateral relations, depending on how the USA chooses to implement it, thereby opening the door to high-level official exchange visits that have not taken place since the two countries severed diplomatic ties in 1979, many Taiwanese officials are hoping.

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

However, some have struck a warning note. China sees Taiwan as a renegade province and has long stated its desire for reunification.