Speaking with reporters before the ceremony commenced, both Moriarty and AIT Director Kin Moy defended the decision of the USA government to send Royce to Taiwan for the dedication ceremony.
Taiwan papers have also reported that former AIT deputy director Brent Christensen would be promoted to lead Washington's diplomatic mission on the island. The 6.5-hectare complex is seen as a milestone for the relationship between Taiwan and the USA, which have maintained unofficial relations since the termination of diplomatic ties in 1979.
The American Institute in Taiwan, as the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei is called, was officially declared open Tuesday morning, in a ceremony attended by senior USA diplomats and Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen.
The new building best represents the progress in bilateral ties made over the past years, but it will not officially begin operations until early September, the AIT said.
Marie Royce, US Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, said the complex was a symbol of the strength and vibrancy of the US-Taiwan partnership. Since the US established diplomatic ties with China almost four decades ago, Washington has acknowledged that claim and cut ties with Taiwan - formally, at least.
Taiwan's president, Tsai Ing-wen, several Taiwanese government officials as well as legislators were also present.
The US-funded American Institute of Taiwan (AIT) unveiled its new headquarters in Taiwan's capital on Tuesday, amid growing tension between the US and China over the fate of the disputed island. "We urge the United States to scrupulously abide by its promises to China over the Taiwan issue, correct their wrong actions, and avoid damaging China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait", he added.
As free and democratic societies, the U.S. and Taiwan share the same values, and this would allow them to maintain close relations, Harper said.
"Taiwan-U.S. relations appear to be more practical and closer than before, so Taiwanese people will have more expectations", ruling party legislator Lee Chun-yi said.
"The opening tomorrow of the new AIT headquarters shows how important our relationship is to the USA", the Republican lawmaker from MS said. "The great story of Taiwan-US relations remains to be filled with the efforts of those that will one day occupy this building".
"China and the U.S. are likely to face a new Taiwan Straits crisis sooner or later".
The new AIT complex. The United States opened AIT shortly after terminating formal ties with Taipei - a diplomatic workaround that has irked Beijing.