A bill awaiting President Trump's signature has angered China so much that the state-run China Daily warns it could trigger war over the island Beijing still considers a renegade province. The Taiwan Travel Act, which passed the Senate with unanimous consent Thursday and earlier passed the House without opposition, states that "the US government should encourage visits between US and Taiwanese officials at all levels." In China, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying says Beijing "resolutely opposes" the bill and has already "lodged stern representations with the US side," the South China Morning Post reports. The bill allows high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the US "under respectful conditions."
China's Taiwan Affairs Office issued a warning to the island: "Do not rely on foreigners to build yourselves up, or it will only draw the fire upon you." Reuters reports that the China Daily's editorial predicted that Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen would push for greater sovereignty if the bill becomes law, triggering China's 2005 law that allows it to use force "to prevent the island from seceding." "Since the US is bound by domestic law to act on behalf of the island in that instance, it would only give substance to the observation that the descent into hell is easy," it said. (Last year, China called a $1.4 billion US-Taiwan arms deal "the wrong move.")