Published: Tue, June 12, 2018

New U.S. Taiwan Office Prompts Questions Over Who Will Lead It

New U.S. Taiwan Office Prompts Questions Over Who Will Lead It

The US Assistant Secretary of State on Cultural Affairs, Marie Royce, will visit Taiwan's capital Taipei to attend a ceremony opening a new building housing the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), widely acknowledged as the de facto American embassy to Taiwan.

There have also been expressions of support for Taipei from United States officials and lawmakers in the face of growing pressure from Beijing, which has lured away Taiwan's allies and blocked the island's participation in worldwide events.

Washington gave up official diplomatic ties with Taipei in 1979 to recognise Beijing, but it remains the island's most powerful ally and top arms supplier.

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

"AIT's new home is a tangible symbol that reflects the strength of our ties", said Royce.

Geng said the ministry urged the United States to uphold the "one China" policy and avoid damaging China-U.S. relations, as well as "peace and stability" in the Taiwan Strait. "China needs to make early preparation", the tabloid said.

Asked about whether there would be higher levels of American officials coming to Taiwan for the official start of operations at the AIT's new office complex expected in September, a move that will likely face protest from China, Moriarty said as of now, the institute has not had any specific plans.

"Taiwan authorities on the many partnerships and exchanges between the United States and Taiwan".


Despite the Western-styled decoration, with American flags flying around, the dedication ceremony was actually infused with Taiwanese and American traditions.

Yet, as NPR's Rob Schmitz explains, Washington has been creeping steadily closer to Taiwan under the Trump administration.

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

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the new building was a reaffirmation of commitment to a "vital relationship" between the USA and Taiwan.

"By treating one another with dignity, sincerity, and respect, we would accomplish great things", said the president.

Royce is a wife of Republican Ed Royce, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, a politician who has promoted several pro-Taiwan bills, including the Taiwan Travel Act, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports.

After the drape covering the façade of the new building was pulled off, the ceremony was left with one last activity.

"The opening tomorrow of the new AIT headquarters shows how important our relationship is to the USA", the Republican lawmaker from MS said.

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