USA unveils de facto embassy in Taiwan

USA unveils de facto embassy in Taiwan

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.

The AIT represents USA interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

But the USA still enjoys a "robust unofficial relationship" with the island nation of 23 million people, according to the State Department.

The recently completed American Institute in Taiwan office in a suburb of the capital Taipei will house US representatives and serves American interests in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

The US switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979 but maintains economic, political and security ties with Taiwan, according to AFP. Together American and Taiwanese representatives, this time including former Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮), put their chosen objects into a "time capsule" box prepared by the AIT. "The great story of Taiwan-U.S. relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building".

President Tsai, who was seen joyfully chatting with Royce during the entire ceremony, said, "As we dedicate this building, we also rededicate ourselves to our common sense of goal".

The US-funded American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) unveiled its new headquarters in Taiwan's capital on Tuesday, amid growing tension between the US and China over the fate of the disputed island.

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China bars Taiwan from membership in the United Nations and many other worldwide organizations and has been luring away the island's remaining diplomatic allies, leaving it with just 18.

"The United States sending officials to Taiwan under any excuses is in serious violation of the "one China" principle," Geng Shuang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, said during a daily news briefing.

But the AIT said in a statement Sunday that Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, will visit Taiwan June 10-14 and attend the ceremony.

The AIT will move into its new complex later this year.

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

"We urge the US to honor the commitments it has made to the Chinese side on the Taiwan issue and correct its wrong actions", Geng added Tuesday, "thus avoiding undermining China-US ties and cross-straits peace and stability".

Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the Department of State, said in a congratulatory message to the AIT that through the AIT, the USA and Taiwan share values and enjoy close cooperation on a wide range of regional and global issues. The United States opened AIT shortly after terminating formal ties with Taipei - a diplomatic workaround that has irked Beijing.

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