WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Friday signed legislation that would allow U.S. officials to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, a move certain to anger China, which views Taiwan as a wayward province.
The bill, which is non-binding, would have gone into effect on Saturday morning, even if Trump had not signed it, said the White House.
The move adds to strains between the two countries over trade, as Trump has enacted tariffs and called for China to reduce its trade imbalance with the United States, even while Washington has leaned on Beijing to help resolve tensions with North Korea.
On Friday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang reiterated that Beijing was opposed to the legislation and urged the United States to abide by the "one China" policy and cease official exchanges with Taiwan.
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The United States does not have formal ties with Taiwan but is required by law to help it with self-defense and is the island’s primary source of weapons.