Washington opens de facto embassy in Taiwan, angering China

Journalists tour the new office complex of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) during an opening ceremony in Taipei on June 12, 2018.

Beijing (CNN)China has lodged a protest with the US following the official opening of Washington's new de facto embassy in Taiwan, a self-ruled island off China's southeastern coast that Beijing considers a renegade province.

"The United States sending officials to Taiwan under any excuses is in serious violation of the 'one China' principle," Geng Shuang, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said Tuesday. "It interferes with China's internal affairs and negatively impacts China-US relations."
"We urge the US to abide by its pledge to China and correct its mistake to avoid harming China-US relations and peace in the Taiwan Strait."
    The American Institute in Taiwan, as the de facto US embassy in Taipei is called, was officially declared open Tuesday morning, in a ceremony attended by senior US diplomats and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
      In an opening address, Assistant US Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce described the sprawling five-story complex, which cost $255 million to build, as much more than mere bricks and mortar.
      (L-R) Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou, chairman of the American Insitute in Taiwan (AIT) James Moriarty, US assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture Affairs Marie Royce, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Overseas Buildings Office Principal Deputy Director Ambassador William Moser and AIT Director Kin Moy pose for a picture during AIT the opening ceremony, Tuesday.