Beijing looks for clues on US-Taiwan ties as Washington set to name new ‘ambassador’ to Taipei

United States unveiled its new de facto embassy – the American Institute of Taiwan – last week, but has yet to appoint its chief

Date: 17 June, 2018
By: Sarah Zheng

Beijing will be looking for clues to any possible changes in Washington’s policy on Taiwan – one of the most sensitive issues in their bilateral relationship – when the US appoints a new head of its de facto embassy in Taipei, analysts said.

While Kin Moy, the incumbent director of the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT), is set to step down in the coming weeks after almost three years in charge, the office has yet to announce who will succeed him. A dedication ceremony for the mission’s new office in Taipei’s Neihu district was held last week.

Yang Lixian, from the Research Centre on Cross-Strait Relations in Beijing, said the mainland would be wary if Kin’s replacement had held a higher level position in Washington or had a history of taking an anti-Beijing stance.

“If there is an obvious change in the role of the AIT after the new person is appointed, it would be a direct challenge … and Beijing would respond to that,” she said.

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