U.S. upsets China with new de facto embassy in Taiwan

Politicians and officials — including Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen — pose during the dedication ceremony Tuesday for the American Institute in Taiwan the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taipei

Politicians and officials — including Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen — pose during the dedication ceremony Tuesday for the American Institute in Taiwan the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taipei

Moy said the new building was "a symbol of the close cooperation and enduring friendship between the United States and Taiwan".

The American Institute in Taiwan, an unofficial non-profit organization, is staffed mostly with US Department of State employees and has handled unofficial ties between Washington and Taipei since 1979, after Washington switched its political leaning from Taipei to Beijing, and has been visited by US Cabinet-level officials previously.

Meanwhile, Marie Royce, assistant secretary of educational and cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is now in Taiwan to participate in the dedication ceremony, scheduled for June 12, for the AIT's new office complex in Taipei's Neihu District.

Also in attendance were Rep. Gregg Harper and Marie Royce, the US assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has been aiming to take advantage of the dedication and the visit by senior U.S. officials to push for further liberalization of arms sales, technological transfers, as well as possible port calls by United States warships.

The US-funded American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) unveiled its new headquarters in Taiwan's capital on Tuesday, amid growing tension between the US and China over the fate of the disputed island.

Tsai has also refused to acknowledge the "1992 consensus" that there is only "one China" and that Taiwan forms part of it. Beijing say the principle forms the basis of any ties between the mainland and Taiwan.

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However, Templeman suggested the ceremony should not be interpreted as revealing the Trump administration's Taiwan policy in general. It manages its relations through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

China bars Taiwan from membership in the United Nations and many other global organizations and has been luring away the island's remaining diplomatic allies, leaving it with just 18.

"Taiwan-U.S. relations appear to be more practical and closer than before, so Taiwanese people will have more expectations", ruling party legislator Lee Chun-yi said. "The great story of Taiwan-US relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building". The box will be sealed and buried somewhere in the new complex, according to the AIT.

Beijing has also increased the frequency of military exercises in the last few months, including deploying its own aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, in the Taiwan Strait.

The widely read Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times on Tuesday said China needed to warn Taiwan and the U.S. against provocation.

The opening of the new facility angered Beijing.

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