Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

USA unveils de facto embassy in Taiwan amid China tensions

President Tsai Ing-wen and Gregg Harper President Tsai Ing-wen and Gregg Harper
Deanna Wagner | 12 June, 2018, 12:21

Tsai, who leads the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, has refused Beijing's demand that she recognize Taiwan as a part of China, leading to a prolonged freeze in relations that had been gradually warming under her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou of the pro-unification Nationalist Party.

Harper and his wife, Sidney, arrived on Sunday to attend today's dedication ceremony of the new office complex in Taipei's Neihu District (內湖).

In comments certain to rile Beijing, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said the new complex was a reaffirmation of both sides commitment to a "vital relationship".

Beijing has sought to increase political pressure on the island, halting any cross strait dialogue and isolating it internationally by poaching its few overseas diplomatic allies.

Tsai hailed the complex as a new chapter in the "great story of US-Taiwan relations".

While Republicans and Democrats in the US Congress do not always get along, "we recently passed the Taiwan Travel Act unanimously".

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".

The new building best represents the progress in bilateral ties made over the past years, but it will not officially begin operations until early September, the AIT said.

Bandai Namco announces crossover fighter Jump Force
Nakajima stated that the game will draw primarily from the Weekly Shonen Jump franchises, but only heroes with "superpowers". Most fans may have recognized that the art style is very unique and doesn't really match up with any of the series present.

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.

"We urge the United States to scrupulously abide by its promises to China over the Taiwan issue, correct their wrong actions, and avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait", ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily news briefing.

The ceremony was attended by high-ranking Taiwan officials and senior business executives, including Morris Chang, the former chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC), the world's biggest contract chip maker. Incumbent AIT director Kin Moy is expected to leave Taipei following the dedication of the new compound.

China has been ramping up pressure on Taiwan since the election in 2016, blocking the self-ruled island from participating in global organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and poaching its diplomatic allies.

"The mainland must continue to build up its deterrence against Taiwanese authorities, making them know that the USA can not be their savior", it said in an editorial on the opening of the new office.

Earlier speculation suggested that President Donald Trump's national security advisor John Bolton could visit Taiwan for the unveiling of the new AIT complex, a move that will certainly provoke Beijing, which opposes interactions of high-level officials between the US and Taiwan.

Still, the United States has not sold F-35 fighter jets, as requested by Taipei, offered actual submarines or docked a naval vessel in Taiwan despite talk in Washington.