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World

AFP
June 13, 2018

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US unveils ‘milestone’ new de facto embassy in Taiwan

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.

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