Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Senior US official, lawmaker in Taiwan for office dedication

Senior US official, lawmaker in Taiwan for office dedication

However, according to the Reuters, Bolton, after traveling to Canada with U.S. President for the G7 Summit, arrived last Sunday in Singapore, where President Trump will hold a historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday.

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

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.

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

The US delegation to today's ceremony also includes US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, who is making her first trip to Taiwan in that capacity, although she has visited before with her husband, US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce. "It's a state-of-the-art facility that will make possible even greater cooperation for many years to come".

China and the USA - now in heated talks over trade - have frequently sparred over questions of militarization of the South China Sea, where Taiwan also has competing claims to parts or all of the region.

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China has been ramping up pressure on Taiwan since the election in 2016, blocking the self-ruled island from participating in worldwide organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and poaching its diplomatic allies. "The new office complex is a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the US-Taiwan partnership in the 21st century". "We must draw a red line for the U.S. and Taiwan", Global Times said through the editorial.

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

The act, which encourages visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials "at all levels", was signed into law on March 16.

The new AIT complex. "Any US administration would have made a similar set of statements at the official opening".

Earlier speculation suggested that President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton could visit Taiwan for the unveiling of the new AIT complex, a move that will certainly provoke Beijing, which opposes interactions of high-level officials between the US and Taiwan.

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