TAIPEI – Taiwan reacted on Thursday with cautious optimism to the United States Senate passing and act which would make it easier for high officials to move freely between the two countries.
The Presidential office spokesperson, Huang Chong-yan, said Washington was Taiwan’s main ally and the island nation was grateful for the Senate’s long-term support, adding that Taiwan would discuss the matter with the US government.
In a debate of the parliament’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee, lawmakers praised the Taiwan Travel Act, which they hope will be signed by US President Donald Trump and converted into a law, although they cautioned that its positive outcomes depended on how it was implemented and it could have possible negative effects on bilateral ties with China.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Tsai Shih-ying said the number of official visits would not go up overnight.
Another DPP lawmaker, Lo Chih-cheng, warned that China might react in an exaggerated manner to the bill and tensions across the Taiwan Strait could escalate.
Opposition legislator Chiang Chi-chen said that arms sales and US support to Taiwan were matters of negotiations between Washington and Beijing, and the new bill would also be discussed.
The Chinese government has lodged a formal complaint with Washington over the bill, foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press conference, adding that the Senate’s vote violated the One China policy.
She added that the policy was the political basis for bilateral relations between the US and China.