The Chinese government is trying, through new travel restrictions, to control the flow of travel between the US and Taiwan, a top US official told the Wall Street Journal.
The move by the Trump administration follows a wave of travel bans imposed in recent months, including one by President Donald Trump in March and another by President Barack Obama in June.
China’s moves are aimed at trying to stem the flow and limit access to the US market for Chinese goods, which have been a boon to the mainland economy in recent years, especially in the tech and entertainment industries.
Trump has said he wants to open up US trade and investment with China and said he would negotiate trade deals with Beijing.
“We have a lot of friends who have been trying to go to the United States and we want to get them here as quickly as possible,” Trump said in January.
It’s a new strategy that could have long-term effects on the US-China relationship, experts say.
In a joint statement on Tuesday, the two countries said they would work together to improve air and sea travel between them.
Airlines have already announced a number of changes to avoid the travel ban, such as cutting flights and reducing prices on flights to China and Japan.
US-based American Airlines said in a statement on Wednesday that it would reduce fares on American domestic and international flights from the mainland to Beijing by 15 percent to 25 percent from the beginning of the month.
U.S.-based Southwest Airlines said it would also cut fares by 15 to 20 percent on domestic flights to Beijing and Shanghai.
United Airlines said on Wednesday it would end its travel to China from June 6.
Passengers in China will be able to take advantage of a number different programs to save money on flights from other destinations, including some Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Hong Kong, according to the White House.
Travelers who use the programs will be reimbursed at a higher rate for the difference, the White Street Journal reported.
Chinese officials have said the new restrictions are designed to “prevent the illegal smuggling of goods and people across the border.”
The move comes as tensions are high in the region.
On Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said that the US was acting like a “rogue country” by “sending out ultimatums” that it will “not tolerate any interference” in its internal affairs.
China has long blamed Washington for what it says is US attempts to control its domestic affairs.
Since taking office, Trump has threatened to slap sanctions on Chinese banks and companies for the alleged theft of US intellectual property.
More than 70 percent of Chinese imports are made from US companies, the Commerce Department reported in May.
Earlier this month, Trump signed an executive order that ordered a temporary ban on visas for people from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Venezuela.
The order, which was widely seen as an attempt to pressure Beijing into reopening US visa programs for Chinese nationals, was lifted on Tuesday.
The Trump administration has also threatened to impose new travel bans on Chinese nationals and citizens of five other countries: Pakistan, Iran, North Vietnam, Yemen and Myanmar.