US names new head for its de facto embassy in Taiwan

Beijing, Mar 2 (EFE).- The United States Thursday named a President Joe Biden’s former adviser on China policy as the new head of the American Institute in Taiwan (IAT), Washington’s de facto embassy on the self-ruled island.

In a statement, the semi-official agency said Secretary of State Antony Blinken has recommended that the board appoint Laura Rosenberger as the next chair of the institute.

“As AIT Chair, Rosenberger will participate in policy-level discussions on Taiwan and represent the Administration in visits to Taiwan and in meetings with Taiwan representatives in the United States,” the statement said.

Rosenberger will step down after more than two years as senior director for China and Taiwan at the National Security Council.

On Mar.20, she will replace James Moriarty as the AIT head.

Moriarty had been in the role since 2016.

The statement noted that Rosenberger would bring to the institure nearly two decades of “deep, high-level experience on the Indo-Pacific, including on Taiwan, China, cross-Strait, and broader national security issues.”

Rosenberger has worked on these issues at senior levels in the US government.

Most recently, she was the special assistant to the president and senior director for China and Taiwan on the National Security Council (NSC) at the White House.

Taiwan has been governed autonomously since 1949 but China calls it a breakaway province and and seeks to merge it with the mainland.

The island was the refuge of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) forces after losing the civil war with the Communists, who, since then, have claimed sovereignty over the territory.

In 1979, Washington broke its official diplomatic ties with Taipei in favor of Beijing. However, the American Institute in Taiwan operates as a de facto embassy in Taipei.

Taiwanese foreign ministry spokesperson Jeff Liu welcomed the appointment of the new AIT chair on behalf of the Taiwan government.

The island is one of the biggest sources of tension between China and the US, mainly because Washington is Taiwan’s main arms supplier and its main ally in the event of a war with Beijing.

China claims for itself the sovereignty of that territory, which since 1949 it considers a rebel province for whose reunification it has not ruled out the use of force. EFE


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