China Sets ‘Red Line’ for U.S. Ceremony in Taiwan

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2018

The American Institute in Taiwan has represented the United States in Taipei since 1979, when the US government formally adopted its "One China" policy.

The massive building is "a symbol of the close cooperation and enduring friendship between the United States and Taiwan", said AIT Director Kin Moy at the opening ceremony.

To officials in the USA and Taiwan, Tuesday's ribbon-cutting ceremony in Taipei symbolizes the strength of their partnership.

"We have faced many trials along this journey, but we have risen to the challenge at every turn, knowing that our shared commitment to democracy would see us through", Royce said at the ceremony, according to Reuters. Royce is the wife of U.S. House Representative Ed Royce (R-Calif.), one of the most outspoken supporters for strengthening U.S. -Taiwan ties in Congress.

The US switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979 but maintains close economic, political and security ties with Taiwan. "The Trump Administration has been slow to fill key posts in the State Department, which is bad for USA allies in East Asia, Taiwan included".

Any official exchange between the United States and Taiwan under any excuse is a violation to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the United States, and an intervention in China's internal affairs, Geng said.

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

"The friendship between Taiwan and the U.S. has never been more promising", Tsai said. Politicians from both nations are attending a ceremony to commemorate the US$ 250 million complex, which will open formally later this year.

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.

The massive $256 million complex, complete with Chinese gardens, occupies 6.5 hectares and will house almost 500 American and local employees. Beijing has claimed the island as a breakaway Chinese province and has vowed to take it by force, if necessary.

The new AIT compound was constructed over nine years and has cost the United States some $250 million. "We urge the abide by its pledge to China and correct its mistake". Further complicating matters, Trump broke diplomatic protocol after winning the 2016 presidential election by accepting a congratulatory telephone call from Tsai Ing-wen.

These included live-fire drills, sailing China's only aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, and dispatching its fighters and bombers for "encirclement patrols".

A USA bill titled "Taiwan Travel Act" was passed unanimously by Congress and signed into law by Trump in March, which stipulates that the US administration should conduct more high-level official exchanges with Taiwan. Trump, meanwhile has appointed several proponents of better US-Taiwan relations since taking power.

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