Wednesday, August 15, 2018 | ePaper

US unveils 'milestone' new de facto embassy in Taiwan

  • Print


The new de facto US embassy in Taipei reaffirms Washington's committment to Taiwan as China steps up diplomatic and military pressure on the self-ruled island. PID photo

AFP, Taipei :
The United States on Tuesday unveiled a new $255 million de facto embassy in Taiwan in what was hailed as a "milestone" in relations, as the self-ruled island comes under increasing pressure from China.
Donald Trump's administration is moving to strengthen ties with Taiwan in the face of China's diplomatic moves and military threats.
In March, after Trump approved new rules allowing top US officials to travel to the island, Beijing called on Washington to "correct its mistake".
But the US sent an assistant secretary of state for the unveiling, a visit less likely to unnerve China which was concerned that higher-level officials may attend.
The US switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979 but maintains close economic, political and security ties with Taiwan. It manages its relations through the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, attended the dedication ceremony with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.
"AIT's new home is both a tangible symbol that reflects the strength of our ties and a state-of-the-art facility that will make possible even greater cooperation for years to come," said Royce, the wife of pro-Taiwan congressman and House foreign affairs committee chairman Ed Royce.
AIT chairman James Moriarty called the new complex a "milestone" in the US-Taiwan relationship and a "testament to the strong US commitment to Taiwan".
Tsai hailed the complex as a new chapter in the "great story of US-Taiwan relations".
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since 1949 but Beijing views the island as a renegade province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.
It bars Taiwan from membership in the United Nations and many other international organisations and has been luring away the island's remaining diplomatic allies.
Since Tsai came to power two years ago, Beijing has cut contact with her government because Taipei refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of "one China".
Beijing officials have described intensified Chinese military drills near the island as a warning against any moves to assert its sovereignty.
While Taiwan's relationship with the US is essential to its security, it must also guard against provoking China, its biggest military threat but also the dominant market for the island's export-driven economy.

More News For this Category

Omarosa's White House recordings fuel Trump woes

Omarosa's White House recordings fuel Trump woes

AFP, Washington :President Donald Trump on Monday plunged himself into a made-for-TV spat with his former aide Omarosa Manigault Newman - a mud-slinging match that has fuelled fears of

US offers military funding to Sri Lanka, as China vies for influence

US offers military funding to Sri Lanka, as China vies for influence

AFP, Colombo :The United States announced Monday it would grant Sri Lanka $39 million to boost maritime security as China develops its strategic hold on the Indian Ocean island.The

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen makes rare US speech

Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen makes rare US speech

AFP, Los Angeles :Taiwan's president has given a speech in the United States - the first time in 15 years that a leader of the island has spoken publicly

New Caledonia protects huge swathe of coral reefs

New Caledonia protects huge swathe of coral reefs

AFP, Noumea :New Caledonia agreed Tuesday to tougher protections around a huge swathe of some of the world's last near-pristine coral reefs, in a move conservationists hailed as a

News In Brief

40 children killed in Yemen bus strikeAFP, SanaaForty children were among 51 people killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a bus in rebel-held northern Yemen, the Red

Trump administration pressures judges to speed deportations

Trump administration pressures judges to speed deportations

AFP, Los Angeles :US immigration judges say they are under increasing pressure from President Donald Trump's administration to speed up immigrant deportations - or risk removal if they delay.This

69 including children killed in arms depot blast in Syria's Idlib

69 including children killed in arms depot blast in Syria's Idlib

AFP, Sarmada :An explosion at a weapons depot that toppled buildings in a rebel-held town of northwest Syria killed at least 69 civilians including a dozen children Sunday, a

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang

Two Koreas agree to hold September summit in Pyongyang

AFP, Seoul :North and South Korea agreed Monday to hold a summit in Pyongyang in September, the South's Yonhap news agency reported following high-level talks in the Demilitarized Zone

Iran unveils next generation missile

Iran unveils next generation missile

AFP, Tehran :Iran's defence minister unveiled the next generation of Tehran's Fateh Mobin short-range ballistic missile on Monday, according to conservative news agency Tasnim."As promised to our dear people,

News In Brief

36 dead, 98 missing as dam collapse in LaosXinhua, VientianeLao military personnel and a rescue team from Singapore are continuing the search for the 98 people still missing in