Ire at new US embassy in Taipei

China | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 13 Jun 2018

The United States yesterday unveiled a new de facto embassy in Taiwan in what was hailed as a milestone in relations, drawing the ire of China.

Donald Trump's administration is moving to strengthen ties with Taiwan in the face of China's diplomatic moves and military threats.

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

But the US sent an assistant secretary of state for the unveiling of the US$255 million (HK$2 billion) embassy in Taipei.

The US manages its relations through the American Institute in Taiwan.

Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, attended the dedication ceremony with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.

"AIT's new home is both a tangible symbol that reflects the strength of our ties and a state-of-the-art facility that will make possible even greater cooperation for years to come," said Royce, the wife of pro-Taiwan congressman and House foreign affairs committee chairman Ed Royce.

AIT chairman James Moriarty called the new complex a milestone in the US-Taiwan relationship and a "testament to the strong US commitment to Taiwan."

Tsai hailed the complex as a new chapter in the "great story of US-Taiwan relations."

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Beijing was gravely concerned and launched solemn representations with Washington - diplomatic speak for an official protest.

"If any US official attends this activity, whatever their excuse may be, it violates the one China principle," Geng told a press briefing.

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