BEIJING - Chinese state media threatened on Friday that the country could go to war over Taiwan if the United States passes into law a bill promoting closer US ties with the self-ruled island that China claims as its own.
The legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump's signature to become law, says it should be US policy to allow officials at all levels to travel to Taiwan to meet their Taiwanese counterparts, permit high-level Taiwanese officials to enter the United States "under respectful conditions" and meet with US officials.
Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of "one China," ineligible for state-to-state relations, and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.
In a strongly-worded editorial, the official China Daily said if the bill becomes law it will only encourage Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen to further assert the island's sovereignty.
"Which, if she persisted, would lead to the inevitable consequence of triggering the Anti-Secession Law that allows Beijing to use force to prevent the island from seceding," the paper said, referring to a Chinese law passed in 2005.
"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."