The US extended its visa waiver to Taiwan, in a seemingly cautious step forward in forging ‘unofficial’ relations with the island without angering China, AFP reports.

The visa waiver program aims to expand tourism to the US by allowing Taiwanese citizens to enter the US for 90 days without a visa being necessary. White House representative Jay Carney told AFP that the move was a ‘logical development’ in the “close security, economic and people-to-people relationship between the US and Taiwan”. Carney also insisted that ‘privilege’ given to Taiwan does not imply any message to any other country, though China is said to be angered by the policy.

China still considers Taiwan as part of its territory, although Taipei has a government of its own. The US and the European Union does not recognize the island as a sovereign state but both have granted visa waivers to Taiwanese.