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

U.S. unveils 'milestone' new de facto embassy in Taiwan

U.S. unveils 'milestone' new de facto embassy in Taiwan

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce hailed the new complex during its unveiling event on Tuesday, saying it represented the close bond between the U.S. and Taiwan.

The U.S. dedicated a new de facto embassy in Taiwan on Tuesday in what officials described as an indicator of robust ties with the self-governing island democracy that China claims as its own territory. Moy will then step down next week with no successor named to replace him, adding to the 47 other US diplomatic missions around the world that now don't have ambassadors.

Taiwan papers have also reported that former AIT deputy director Brent Christensen would be promoted to lead Washington's diplomatic mission on the island.

"Taiwan authorities on the many partnerships and exchanges between the U.S. and Taiwan". Since 1979, Washington has switched its diplomatic recognition of Taipei to Beijing but has maintained close ties with Taiwan based on its Taiwan Relations Act. The policy dictates that the US formally recognize only one Chinese government - the Communist apparatus based in Beijing - and officially eschew relations with a Taiwanese government, which has proclaimed itself the "Republic of China". It manages its relations through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

The new base for the American Institute in Taiwan is said to be the strongest and most secure structure ever built on the island, made with blast-proof materials over almost 10 years.

Journalists tour the new office complex of the American Institute in Taiwan during a dedication ceremony in Taipei
Journalists tour the new office complex of the American Institute in Taiwan during a dedication ceremony in Taipei

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the new building was a reaffirmation of commitment to a "vital relationship" between the United States and Taiwan. "The great story of Taiwan-U.S. relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building".

China has been ramping up pressure on Taiwan since the election in 2016, blocking the self-ruled island from participating in global organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and poaching its diplomatic allies.

The new AIT compound was constructed over nine years and has cost the United States some $250 million. China also has recently pointedly conducted several military drills in the Taiwan strait and around the island.

The US is embroiled in a major trade row with China, but is keen to avoid a diplomatic fallout as it needs Beijing's help to solve the North Korea nuclear issue.

The US government's US$255 million investment in the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound is a symbol of its commitment to Taiwan, US Representative Gregg Harper, who co-chairs the US Congressional Taiwan Caucus, said yesterday.

Mets Release Adrian Gonzalez
In another move, the Mets designated catcher Jose Lobaton for assignment and called up utilityman Ty Kelly from Triple-A as well. Shortly after beating the Yankees in the Subway Series finale, the Mets released struggling first baseman Adrian Gonzalez .

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