US Upgrades De Facto Embassy in Taiwan, Despite Beijing's Objection

Flickr  wei zheng wang Washington Wants to Play'Taiwan Card to Exert Pressure on China- Analysts

Flickr wei zheng wang Washington Wants to Play'Taiwan Card to Exert Pressure on China- Analysts

Two U.S. Republican Senators spoke on the Senate floor on June 11 and expressed their congratulations and best wishes for the new complex of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which was unveiled in Taipei on Tuesday, June 12.

The United States on Tuesday opened a new $256-million (€225-million) representative office in Taiwan's capital, in a move that is likely to increase tensions between the USA and China.

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

"We urge the US to redress its wrong doings and avoid damaging China-US ties, peace and stability", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said, adding they have already filed a formal complaint with the US over its relationship with Taiwan.

On Monday night, China's state-run tabloid Global Times published an editorial, suggesting Beijing should warn the USA and Taiwan of possible consequences for any provocative move. Rubio emphasized that the US would continue to support Taiwan in the face of such threats as a true democratic ally and friend.

"I think Taiwan-U.S. relations have improved in appearance, not in substance", said Chen I-hsin, an emeritus professor of diplomacy in Taiwan.

Also attending the ceremony was Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, whose independence-leaning administration Beijing has sought to isolate diplomatically and threatens with invasion.

Marie Royce, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said at a ceremony to mark the unveiling that the complex was a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the U.S. -Taiwan partnership.

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"I must point out that the US, by sending officials to Taiwan under whatever pretext, severely violates the one-China principle and three China-US joint communiques, interferes in China's internal affairs and exerts negative impact on China-US relations", Geng said during a news conference.

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

Trump decided not to send cabinet-level officials to the opening ceremony to avoid further antagonising Beijing amid other tensions over trade and China's claims to much of the South China Sea, sources with ties to the U.S. and Chinese governments told the South China Morning Post earlier this month.

China argues that Taiwan is part of the People's Republic and insists countries can only have official diplomatic relations with the mainland and not Taiwan.

The Trump administration has been upgrading USA ties with Taiwan in the past year. In March, he signed the Taiwan Travel Act that encourages high-level visits between the two sides.

But unofficial ties between the USA and Taiwan have gotten stronger under the Trump administration, which hasn't gone over well with Beijing.

The completion of the new AIT offices - built over nine years at a cost of $250 million - comes amid closer US-Taiwan ties.

In March, after Trump approved new rules allowing top U.S. officials to travel to the island, Beijing called on Washington to "correct its mistake".

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