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China lodges representations after U.S. official attending AIT dedication ceremony in Taipei

14 June 2018

Joining Moy was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce, who called the new office "a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the U.S. -Taiwan partnership in the 21st century".

Taiwan, meanwhile, has become increasingly marginalised on the worldwide stage with the loss of diplomatic allies who previously recognised the government of the self-ruled island, but have now switched to Beijing.

"I offer you this", he said, "a tangible symbol that the United States is here to stay".

Also attending the ceremony was Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, whose independence-leaning administration Beijing has sought to isolate diplomatically and threatens with invasion.

The new AIT offices are being unveiled amid heightened concerns in Beijing over increasing U.S. involvement in Taiwan.

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"I look forward 2 an even brighter chapter in our enduring friendship!"

China has also stepped up military drills, sending bombers and jet fighters on exercises near the island which Taipei has denounced as intimidation.

China has urged the United States to avoid having official contacts with Taiwan or improving relations in substantive ways. In March, the State Department approved a longstanding request from Taiwan to solicit help from American companies in building the island nation's own indigenous submarines.

In December 2016, then President-elect Trump accepted a precedence-shattering phone call from Tsai to congratulate him on his election victory, marking the highest-level contact between the two sides in nearly 40 years. Earlier this month, the Dominican Republic established diplomatic relations with China and severed ties with Taiwan.

The Global Times expressed annoyance with the size of the AIT compound, the number of people who will be stationed there, the presence of U.S. Marine guards, and the possibility that higher-level U.S. officials could visit in the future thanks to the recently-passed Taiwan Travel Act.

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China claims self-ruled Taiwan under its "one China" policy, and Beijing has never renounced the use of force to bring what it sees as a wayward province under its control. "The great story of Taiwan-US relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building", Tsai added. "China's pressure on Taiwan is inciting a backlash from the public here".

Despite condemnations from China, the USA continues to sell advanced weapons to the island under the Taiwan Relations Act for its self-defense against a much bigger Chinese military.

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. At the opening ceremony, American Institute chairman James Moriarty referred to the Singapore summit and said it was important to respect its significance.

"We must draw a red line for the USA and Taiwan".

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China lodges representations after U.S. official attending AIT dedication ceremony in Taipei