Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

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

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

Meanwhile, Marie Royce, assistant secretary of educational and cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, is now in Taiwan to participate in the dedication ceremony, scheduled for June 12, for the AIT's new office complex in Taipei's Neihu District.

The U.S. will also be opening a new compound for its de facto embassy in Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China claims as its own and has been a longstanding flashpoint between Washington and Beijing. 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.

Taiwanese politicians, however, hope that more senior US officials such as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo or national security adviser John Bolton may visit the island this autumn.

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.

The United States cut its formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan in 1979, recognizing the communist rulers in Beijing as the country's sole government as part of a "One China" policy.

The White House is cautious about its Taiwan policy in the lead-up to the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on Tuesday, the same day of the dedication of AIT's new office.

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The new building is a significant upgrade from the low-key military building that AIT has used for decades and will serve as the representative office later this summer, said AIT Director Kin Moy at the opening ceremony.

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

"I must point out that the US, by sending officials to Taiwan under whatever pretext, severely violates the one-China principle and three China-US joint communiques, interferes in China's internal affairs and exerts negative impact on China-US relations", Geng said during a news conference.

China and the United States - now in heated talks over trade - have frequently sparred over questions of militarization of the South China Sea, where Taiwan also has competing claims to parts or all of the region.

The US delegation to today's ceremony also includes US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, who is making her first trip to Taiwan in that capacity, although she has visited before with her husband, US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce.

"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". "High-level visits can be arranged at any time, not just when AIT inaugurates a new building", Templeman told the Guardian.

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