Şimal Çınar –TDO- A bill that encourages reciprocal visits by U.S. and Taiwanese government officials passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations this week and will now move to the Senate. Upon this, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the bill threatens stability in the Taiwan Strait and the United States must withdraw it since China considers Taiwan as a part of China and thus to be ineligible for official interstate relations.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang spoke at a daily news briefing in Beijing and stated that though the clauses in the bill are not legally binding they are a serious violation of the “one China” principle. Geng said “If it is passed and put into effect, it will cause serious disturbances to Sino-U.S. relations and the situation in the Taiwan Strait.” “China is extremely dissatisfied and resolutely opposed to this and has already lodged stern representations with the U.S. side,” he added.

He also reminded that the ‘One China’ principle is the political basis of the relations between China and the United States and advised United States to cease discussion of the bill and protect relations between the two countries and stability in the Taiwan Strait. China is specifically worried about Tsai, the President of Taiwan to push for formal independence, which is a red line for Beijing, even though she has stated that she wants to maintain the status quo and is committed to ensuring peace. For this reason, China regularly says Taiwan is the most sensitive issue in its ties with Washington.

Even though the United States has no formal ties with Taiwan, it is bound by law to help Taiwan defend itself, also is the main source of arms to the island.

Taiwan has welcomed the bill, which would allow senior U.S. government officials to travel to Taiwan to meet with their Taiwanese counterparts.

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