US to send assistant secretary of state Marie Royce to Taiwan to open de facto embassy

Washington seeks to avoid angering Beijing by sending lower level representative to opening, which coincides with Trump-Kim summit

South China Morning Post
Date: 10 June, 2018
By: Liu Zhen

Marie Royce, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (right) and her husband U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (left). President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan (center)

Washington will send an assistant secretary of state to open its de facto embassy in Taiwan this week – the same day US President Donald Trump meets his North Korean counterpart in Singapore – as it tries to avoid angering Beijing.

Marie Royce, assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs, will open the American Institute in Taiwan on Tuesday, the institute said in a statement on Sunday.

Her husband Ed Royce is chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, who has promoted several pro-Taiwan bills including the Taiwan Travel Act.

Despite media speculation earlier this year that Trump may even send his new national security adviser John Bolton to the opening ceremony, sources told the South China Morning Post last week that the Trump administration decided not to send a cabinet-level official to the ceremony to avoid a strong response from Beijing.

Why new de facto US ‘embassy’ in Taiwan may further rock ties with China

The opening coincides with the highly anticipated summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, which key diplomatic and security figures in the US
administration are expected to attend.

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