AIT reiterates stance on reported posting of U.S. Marines at new compound

Taipei, July 29 (CNA) The de facto United States embassy in Taiwan reiterated Sunday that the security arrangements at its new office compound in Taipei's Neihu District will be the same as at the current site.

"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 spokesperson Amanda Mansour told CNA in an email.

The AIT official's comments came after the Chinese-language Liberty Times ran a front page story Sunday, saying that the U.S. had informed Taiwan's national security officials that a small contingent of U.S. Marines would be posted at the AIT's new compound in Neihu this September. The report followed a statement last year by an ex-AIT Director Stephen Young that gave similar information.

Former AIT Director Kin Moy, who left Taiwan earlier this month, repeatedly told the local media before his departure that there was already a small number of U.S. personnel at the current AIT office on Xinyi Road who were coordinating with Taiwanese security staff and that the situation would continue in Neihu.

"We don't make political statements with our security," she said. "What we do is we bring a sufficient number of people to coordinate with local staff to ensure that the people inside our buildings are very safe."

The AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of bilateral diplomatic ties, is currently located in Taipei's Xinyi District and is expected to officially move to its new facility in Neihu this fall.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel