Security to remain same at new AIT location: U.S. government

09/14/2018 12:11 PM
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Washington, Sept. 13 (CNA) Security arrangements at the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) building will be the same as at AIT's current location, a spokesperson for the United States Department of State said Thursday.

Since the de facto American embassy inaugurated its new building complex in Neihu District, Taipei on June 12, there have been news reports that Marines could be deployed at the facility, in accordance with standard U.S. practice at its embassies around the world.

In the wake of reports that the State Department asked the Pentagon to deploy a detachment of U.S. Marines to Taiwan to help provide security at the de facto embassy, CNN cited U.S. officials Thursday as indicating that the request had been rejected due to resource constraint issues and not for fear of irritating Beijing.

The decision to deny the request was made by Secretary of Defense James Mattis last month, CNN reported, citing one defense official that prior to the request being rejected, military planners had anticipated the Marines arriving in Taiwan as early as next month.

Asked about the report, the State Department said in a statement mailed to the media that "As is the practice at AIT's current location, a small number of American personnel detailed to AIT along with a larger number of locally-hired employees will provide security for the new office building in cooperation with local authorities."

AIT has not yet relocated to its new home from its current location in the commercial Xinyi District of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

"We do not discuss specific security matters concerning the protection of our facility or personnel," the statement said, reiterating the U.S. commitment to its one China policy, based on the three U.S.-China joint communiques and the Taiwan Relations Act.

Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman LtCol. Christopher Logan declined to comment on the matter, saying "we do not discuss the operational details or the internal deliberations related to specific security matters concerning the protection of our facilities or personnel."

(By Chiang Chin-yeh and Elizabeth Hsu)


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