Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

  • Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

"The opening tomorrow of the new AIT headquarters shows how important our relationship is to the United States", the Republican lawmaker from MS 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 U.S. and Taiwan partnership in the 21st century".

Harper and his wife, Sidney, arrived on Sunday to attend today's dedication ceremony of the new office complex in Taipei's Neihu District (內湖).

In an opening address, Assistant US Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, described the sprawling five-story complex, which cost $255 million to build, as much more than mere bricks and mortar.

It is Taiwan's strongest ally and only foreign arms supplier.

Before she departs on Thursday, Royce will also hold discussions with Taiwan government officials concerning partnerships and exchanges between Taiwan and the USA said the AIT in a statement. AIT's Taipei office has almost 500 American and local employees, while its Kaohsiung branch has more than 30 staff.

Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the Department of State, said in a congratulatory message to the AIT that through the AIT, the US and Taiwan share values and enjoy close cooperation on a wide range of regional and global issues.

China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since 1949 but Beijing views the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

The new AIT compound was constructed over nine years and has cost the USA some $250 million.

Since Tsai came to power two years ago, Beijing has cut contact with her government because Taipei refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of "one China".

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 new building is a significant upgrade from the low-key military building that AIT has used for decades and will serve as the representative office later this summer, said AIT Director Kin Moy at the opening ceremony.

The US has no formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan but continues to have close economic, political and security ties with the democratic self-ruled island.

Taiwan has lobbied Washington to sell it more advanced equipment, including new fighter jets, to bolster its defenses.