Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei are also on the rise; over the last few months, China has reprimanded airlines and other businesses for referring to Taiwan as a nation and pressuring countries around the world to cut diplomatic ties. The 6.5-hectare complex is seen as a milestone for the relationship between Taiwan and the US, which have maintained unofficial relations since the termination of diplomatic ties in 1979.

The precarious balance Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen must navigate between a more assertive China and the uncertainty of American policy will be in focus Tuesday when she attends the opening of a new de facto USA embassy.

The new building best represents the progress in bilateral ties made over the past years, but it will not officially begin operations until early September, the AIT said.

During the ceremony, United States ambassador James Moriarty and Royce reiterated Washington's commitment to uphold the relationship with Taiwan, calling the new facility "a symbol of strength and vibrancy of the USA and Taiwan partnership in the 21st century".

Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, several Taiwanese government officials as well as legislators were also present.

Asked about whether there would be higher levels of American officials coming to Taiwan for the official start of operations at the AIT's new office complex expected in September, a move that will likely face protest from China, Moriarty said as of now, the institute has not had any specific plans.

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Image Zoom

The U.S. switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing in 1979 but maintains close economic, political and security ties with Taiwan.

"The friendship between Taiwan and the USA has never been more promising", Tsai said. "It interferes with China's internal affairs and negatively impacts China-US relations". "The great story of Taiwan-US relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building".

The new AIT complex. Together American and Taiwanese representatives, this time including former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), put their chosen objects into a "time capsule" box prepared by the AIT.

"China and the United States are likely to face a new Taiwan Straits crisis sooner or later".

"We urge the US to abide by its pledge to China and correct its mistake to avoid harming China-US relations and peace in the Taiwan Strait".

"The mainland must continue to build up its deterrence against Taiwanese authorities, making them know that the United States can not be their savior", it said in an editorial on the opening of the new office.

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