>> China slammed the US Senate on Thursday, angry after lawmakers unanimously passed a bill promoting close American ties with Taiwan. Beijing considers the Democratic island a rogue province, and part of One China. The Senate Bill would encourage high level exchanges between officials from the US and Taiwan. But China considers Taiwan to be ineligible for state relations, meaning the US would imply the island is a country in its own rights.
As Reuters Ben Blanchard reports, for China the bill couldn't come at a worse time.>> From the Chinese perspective, the timing of this looks extremely bad. The Americans have been complaining consistently since Trump took office about the unfair and imbalanced trade between the two countries. And also today Liu He who's a very close economic advisor President Xi Jinping is currently visiting Washington.
So this is really sort of adding oil to the flames as far as the Chinese are concerned.>> Trump has faced pressure from Republicans to engage with Taiwan in the past. He also ruffled feathers with China when he took a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen after he won Office.
>> Taiwan is probably China's most sensitive diplomatic issue. Certainly, the Chinese describe Taiwan as being the most sensitive issue between Beijing and Washington. Now, it is not often understood very well outside of China, the importance of Taiwan to the national psyche in China. So anything that any country does that implies that Taiwan is not a part of China, always generates an extremely strong, negative reaction in Beijing.
>> The White House invited several top US steel and aluminum executives to a meeting set for later on Thursday. Two sources close to the meeting told Reuters it may be a major trade announcement. Trump has been weighing heavy taxes on imports of the two metals from China and elsewhere.