US draws anger from China by reopening Taiwan 'embassy'

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Marie Royce, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, was one of the representatives for the USA government, with many officials accompanying President Donald Trump for his summit in Singapore with North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

The United States will unveil a new Dollars 250 million representative office in Taiwan's capital on Tuesday, underscoring Washington's strategic ties with the self-ruled island as it faces escalating tensions with China.

The American Institute in Taiwan has represented the United States in Taipei since 1979, when the USA government formally adopted its "One China" policy.

The AIT will move into its new complex later this year. And on Tuesday, the representative office that has handled many of those informal affairs got a roughly $256 million upgraded compound in Taiwan's capital, Taipei.

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.

"This day was years in the making so we can credit Bush, Obama, and Trump for following through on the facility", said Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the U.S. -Taiwan Business Council.

Royce is the highest level official of the U.S. Department of State to visit Taiwan since 2015.

"It represents much more than steel and glass and concrete", Royce said at the ceremony.

Over the past several months, global companies like Marriott, Zara, and Qantas issued public apologies after Chinese authorities reprimanded them for referring to Taiwan as an independent country on their websites.

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"AIT's new office complex is a testament to the strong U.S. commitment to Taiwan, the close and cooperative ties between our people and the enduring friendship between the USA and Taiwan", AIT Chairman James Moriarty said in a statement posted on the Institute's website.

The "One China" policy Geng references was adopted by the 1979. 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.

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

And China has taken close notice of these developments.

Taiwan also risks being sidelined in Washington if Trump feels satisfied that China has addressed its massive trade surplus with the US, said retired strategic studies professor Lin Chong-pin.

China has also stepped up military drills, sending bombers and jet fighters on exercises near the island that Taipei has denounced as intimidation. "We urge the abide by its pledge to China and correct its mistake".

Meanwhile, the AIT is happily plowing ahead with its big move.

Kin Moy, director of the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT), told the news agency that the embassy will be used as a representative office later this summer.

Moriarty emphasized that "the cultural relationship" and "people-to-people relationship" between Taiwan and the United States are "the strongest".