President honors pro-Taiwan US congressman

President honors pro-Taiwan US congressman

The American Institute in Taiwan opened the new office complex in a ceremony in Taipei virtually at the same time President Donald Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

The United States on Tuesday opened a new $256-million (€225-million) representative office in Taiwan's capital, in a move that is likely to increase tensions between the USA and China.

China has lodged stern representations with the United States over its official exchanges with Taiwan, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

China's Foreign Ministry said yesterday it had lodged stern representations with the United States about the unveiling of the new de facto us embassy in self-ruled Taiwan. Since then, Taiwan has evolved into a self-governing democracy, but Beijing considers it part of its own sovereign territory.

"The friendship between Taiwan and the U.S. has never been more promising".

"The new office complex is a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the US-Taiwan partnership in the 21st century".

Ties between Taiwan and mainland China have been strained since Tsai, from the independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in 2016. "The great story of Taiwan-US relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building", Tsai said. "We urge the honor its words on the Taiwan issue, and redress its wrongdoing so as to avoid doing harm to China-US ties and peace and stability in cross-strait relations", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said as reported by AP.

But the USA still enjoys a "robust unofficial relationship" with the island nation of 23 million people, according to the State Department.

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Politicians and officials - including Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen (center) - pose during the dedication ceremony Tuesday for the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taipei.

The widely read Chinese state-run newspaper the Global Times on Tuesday said China needed to warn Taiwan and the USA against provocation.

The Trump administration has been upgrading USA ties with Taiwan in the past year.

The new offices, built by US and Taiwanese workers, cost more than $255 million and was designed as an "expression of the values of American democracy, and a demonstration of respect for Taiwan".

While Taiwan's relationship with the United States 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.

The opening of the new facility angered Beijing.

Harper has extended his support for several Taiwan-friendly bills during his term in Congress and for promoting Taiwan's worldwide participation, Tsai said, adding that the Taiwan Travel Act that was signed into law March 16 is a testament to the strength of Taiwan-U.S. relations.

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