Marie Royce met Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen at the American Institute in Taiwan complex
Furious at the new opening, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, said no official contact should occur between the US and Taiwan “in any form”.
He said: “The US should adhere to the One China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the US so as not the undermine bilateral ties and peace and stability in the region.
“Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party administration will only further damage cross-Strait relations by implicating foreign powers.
“The Taiwan issue, which is vital to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, remains the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations.”
Beijing warned the US to respect its ‘One China’ policy and cut ties with Taiwan
Any participation of US officials in Taiwan-related events or activities is violating agreements between the US and China
The opening of the institute occurred at the same time US President Donald Trump held his landmark summit with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore.
The highest US officials to attend the opening were Marie Royce, the US assistant secretary of state for education and cultural affairs, and James Moriarty, the chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan.
Both Moriarty and Royce reiterated the US’s commitment to maintaining relations with Taiwan, and described the new centre as “a symbol of strength and vibrancy of the US and Taiwan partnership in the 21st century”.
Ms Royce added: “AIT’s new home is a tangible symbol that reflects the strength of our ties.
The AIT has existed in Taiwan since 1979 but only as disparate offices in Taipei
“It’s a state-of-the-art facility that will make possible even greater cooperation for many years to come.”
However Geng Shuang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, stated the re-opening of the institute would have “a negative impact” on US-China relations.
He said: “We are having very serious discussions now, and any participation of US officials in Taiwan-related events or activities is violating agreements between the US and China.”
Taiwan’s pro-independence President, Tsai Ing-wen, and her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, were both in attendance at the ceremony.
Ms Tsai commented on the opening of the institute, saying: “As we dedicate this building, we also rededicate ourselves to our common sense of purpose.
“As free and open democracies, we have an obligation to work with one another to defend our values and protect our joint interests.”
The AIT has existed in Taiwan since 1979, but only as disparate offices spread across the island’s capital Taipei.
The opening of the new centre is the first time the institute has been given its own compound.