In an apparent first, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on Sunday visited a U.S. federal building in an official capacity — a move that China protested Monday amid Washington's trade and security rows with Beijing and the United States' closer ties with Taipei.

Tsai toured NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, becoming the first sitting leader from the self-ruled island to set foot in an American government facility in the United States.

Tweets and pictures posted to the official account of the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry showed Tsai touring the iconic facilities and meeting NASA officials.