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Home The News News US Marines to be stationed at AIT compound

US Marines to be stationed at AIT compound

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American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen yesterday mounts the address plate at the AIT’s new compound at 100 Jinhu Rd in Taipei’s Neihu District.
Photo: still from a video on the AIT Web site

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday said that plans for US Marines to be posted at its new compound in Taipei’s Neihu Distrcit (內湖) are consistent with common practice since 2005 and are part of efforts to ensure the safety of staff.

The AIT made the comments while announcing the date for the move to the new location as May 6.

In a video posted on the AIT’s Web site, AIT Director Brent Christensen, AIT Deputy Director Raymond Greene and AIT spokeswoman Amanda Mansour appeared alongside Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) announcing the moving day.

“The AIT is finally moving,” they say, reminding the public of the new address at the end of the video. “We look forward to serving you at 100 Jinhu Road. See you in Neihu.”

After the Liberty Times (the sister paper of the Taipei Times) reported in July last year that US Marines would be posted at the new compound, rumors circulated that the move signaled closer US-Taiwan ties.

China’s Global Times responded to the report by saying that stationing US Marines in Taipei would be seen as a “US invasion of China.”

Mansour said that the new complex would be staffed by a small number of US citizens and a large number of Taiwanese, and that the US Marines would be posted for the protection of everyone working at the new facility.

The AIT would cooperate with the Taipei City Government on the issue of safety and security at the complex, she said.

Since 2005, there have been active members of the four branches of the US military stationed at the AIT, she said.

National Chengchi University Institute of International Relations adjunct research fellow Arthur Ding (丁樹範) said that while it is the first time the AIT has publicly spoken about military officers stationed at the institute, no one should be overly optimistic.

There have been visits to Taiwan by US officials in recent months, but those visits were cultural or academic in nature and did not touch upon sensitive political issues, he said, adding that whether the military officers stationed at the AIT would wear uniforms remains to be seen.

Additional reporting by CNA

Source: Taipei Times - 2019/04/04

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