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China Warns U.S. Against 'Dangerous' Taiwan Policy Overhaul

Newsweek logo Newsweek 6/18/2022 Fatma Khaled
Pictured above, Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with U.S Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People on December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China. © Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images Pictured above, Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shake hands with U.S Vice President Joe Biden (L) inside the Great Hall of the People on December 4, 2013 in Beijing, China.

China warned the United States on Saturday against advancing the Taiwan Policy Act of 2022, a bill that was introduced on Friday to overhaul U.S. policy toward Taiwan, which includes providing enhanced military assistance.

The Global Times, a Chinese-based tabloid, published an editorial Saturday calling the policy "abusive" and "dangerous," as it warned against its impact on U.S.-China ties.

The bill was sponsored by Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, who is also chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who both said in a statement that it would be the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. policy toward the island nation since the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979.

The Taiwan Policy Act of 2022 aims to strengthen U.S. ties with Taiwan and help the country protect itself against any potential aggression from China. The bill includes a provision that would provide $4.5 billion in military aid to Taiwan over the next four years, and designate the island as a "major non-NATO ally" (MNNA).

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"As Beijing continues to seek to coerce and isolate Taiwan there should be no doubt or ambiguity about the depth and strength of our determination to stand with the people of Taiwan and their democracy," said Menendez in the statement.

Though the U.S. doesn't officially recognize Taiwan as an independent country under its "One China" policy, it has vowed to help defend the island in case of an attack.

"It is very concerning that an official MNNA status designation to the Taiwan island may imply the beginning of an official alliance between the US and Taiwan with more serious security commitments to follow," the Global Times editorial read. "If so, it means Washington takes a big step backward regarding China-US ties."

The spokesperson for the Chinese embassy in the U.S., Liu Pengyu, also warned against the bill and urged Congress to "stop advancing the act" as it could have "resolute countermeasures," the South China Morning Post reported Saturday.

He also said that China has "no room for compromise or concession" when it comes to issues related to Chinese sovereignty and "territorial integrity," according to the newspaper.

Warnings against the bill come amid ongoing tensions between China and Taiwan, which has maintained a separate government from mainland China since 1949. However, the Chinese government doesn't recognize the island as an independent country, but as a rebellious province instead.

China hasn't ruled out the use of military force to rejoin the island with recent claims from China's defense ministry stating that it would "not hesitate to start a war," according to Agence France-Presse.

The Taiwanese government, which claims the island as its own territory, has repeatedly vowed that it will defend itself against any potential aggression from China.

The Global Times noted Saturday that the new bill is "more about political grandstanding and posturing" as the U.S. approaches its midterm elections in November, seeking to attract potential voters.

"The anti-China politicians on Capitol Hill only care about their short-term political gains, disregarding the bill's long-term damage to China-US relations," the editorial read. "However, political manipulations by those anti-China politicians in Washington won't end soon. We still need to keep our alert, because their manipulation may deceive some US voters and send the Taiwan authorities a wrong signal. At the same time, we should let our 'resolute countermeasures' speak for themselves in a louder way."

Menendez and Graham hope to send the bill to the Senate floor as early as next week, according to Reuters.

Newsweek reached out to the Embassy of China in Washington for comment.

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