Economy, Americas, Asia - Pacific

Trump signs Taiwan act into law, angering rival China

Beijing describes US move as ‘interference in China's internal affairs’

Ovunc Kutlu and Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 28.12.2020
Trump signs Taiwan act into law, angering rival China


US President Donald Trump Sunday signed the Taiwan Assurance Act into law, which was part of the wider $1.4 trillion federal government spending bill for the fiscal year of 2021.

After days of stalling, the bill was jointly signed with a COVID-19 stimulus package that includes $900 billion aid.

The US House of Representatives had unanimously passed the Taiwan Assurance Act in May 2019 when it was added to that fiscal year's spending bill for the Senate to consider.

The act aims to strengthen bilateral ties and encourages Taiwan to increase its defense spending.

Criticizing the law, China termed the US move an “interference in China's internal affairs”.

“China firmly opposes US' Taiwan Assurance Act, and the US should stop interfering in China's internal affairs by using the Taiwan question,” China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian told a news conference in Beijing, according to daily Global Times.

Since the act passed the House, the Trump administration has approved eight arms sales to Taiwan, which include anti-ship cruise missiles and drones.

The act also includes Washington's support for Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN and other organizations and provides $3 million for activities of the US-Taiwan Global Cooperation and Training Framework. 

China considers Taiwan – officially known as the Republic of China – a breakaway province, while Taipei insists on its independence since 1949 and has diplomatic relations with 16 countries and regions. With the US expressing open support to Taiwan and selling high-tech weaponry to Taipei, China has increased its military operations in the region.

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