The American Institute in Taiwan, built over nine years at a cost of about $250 million, is bankrolled by the US government and staffed by diplomats, effectively making the complex an embassy all but in name. 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.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen said the new complex was a confirmation of both the USA and Taiwan's commitment to a "vital relationship".
A career member of the US Foreign Service, Christensen also served at the US embassy in Beijing and was last posted in Taiwan during former president Ma Ying-jeou's second term and maintained cordial relations with Taiwan's major parties. "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.
Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, attended the dedication ceremony with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen.
Chinese authorities made clear they did not share that sense of celebration, however.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Beijing was "gravely concerned" with the inauguration of the building.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday said it had lodged stern representations with the USA about the new AIT building.More news: Tyson Fury: Heavyweight to fight on Carl Frampton undercard in August
The institute said the complex is a reflection of the importance of U.S.
Trump decided not to send cabinet-level officials to the opening ceremony to avoid further antagonising Beijing amid other tensions over trade and China's claims to much of the South China Sea, sources with ties to the U.S. and Chinese governments told the South China Morning Post earlier this month. In March, President Donald Trump signed into law a bill that encourages high-level exchanges of officials with Taiwan.
And China has taken close notice of these developments. That's largely because Beijing forces the global community to form ties with either the People's Republic of China (commonly referred to as "China") or the Republic of China (commonly referred to as Taiwan).
These included live-fire drills, sailing China's only aircraft carrier through the Taiwan Strait, and dispatching its fighters and bombers for "encirclement patrols". "We urge the U.S.to abide by its pledge to China and correct its mistake".
The AIT will move into its new complex later this year. The organization, which was first established in 1979 after the diplomatic shift, plans to officially relocate to the new facility this fall.
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.
On Monday night, China's state-run tabloid Global Times published an editorial, suggesting Beijing should warn the USA and Taiwan of possible consequences for any provocative move.