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China plays down tensions with Taiwan

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China plays down tensions with Taiwan

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Tensions with Taiwan were played down at Saturday's opening sesion of the advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing.

It comes the day after state media warned that China could go to war over Taiwan if a US bill promoting closer ties with the island becomes law.

The legislation, which only needs President Donald Trump's signature, 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 US "under respectful conditions" and meet US officials.

China has been infuriated over the bill, telling Taiwan on Friday that it would only get burnt if it sought to rely on foreigners, adding to the warnings from state media about the risk of war.

However Yu Zhengsheng, the Communist Party's fourth most senior official, put on a friendlier face at the opening session of the largely ceremonial advisory body to parliament which he heads, making no direct mention of the bill.

"We will deepen solidarity and friendship with our compatriots in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as well as overseas Chinese," Yu told the 2,000-odd delegates.

Beijing considers democratic Taiwan to be a wayward province and integral part of "one China". It has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

with Reuters