Fri, Nov 30, 2018 - Page 1 News List

AIT confirms Taipei land purchase for staff housing

Staff writer, with CNA

Acting Kaohsiung Mayor Hsu Li-ming, second left, and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Brent Christensen, center, attend the opening of the “Strong Foundation, Bright Future: AIT@40 US-Taiwan Relations Since 1979” exhibition at the Kaohsiung Museum of History yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday confirmed that it purchased a plot of land in Taipei to build a residential complex for its staff, saying the decision reflects the US’ strong long-term commitment to the nation.

“On Nov. 28, 2018, AIT finalized a conditional purchase agreement with Jean Co, Ltd [新美齊] for the construction of a new residential tower in Tianmu [天母] and purchase of the underlying land,” AIT spokesperson Jesse Curtis said in an e-mail.

“When completed, AIT plans to use the residential tower as housing for AIT staff and their families,” Curtis said, confirming a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) about the deal.

It was not the AIT’s first real-estate purchase in Taiwan, as the newspaper had reported, he said without elaborating.

The purchase reflected the US’ commitment to its ties with Taiwan, but did not indicate any change in the US’ “one China” policy or its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act, Curtis said.

“The US is strongly committed to our enduring friendship with Taiwan, with whom we share common values and enjoy close cooperation on a wide range of regional and global issues,” he said. “The purchase of real property on Taiwan is another reflection of this commitment.”

Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) welcomed the purchase, saying that it symbolizes the progression of Taiwan-US ties over the past two years.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said renting houses is not a permanent solution, and that he believed the deal is a clear signal that the ties between Taiwan and the US are strong and solid.

The 1,000m2 plot of land and construction of the building is to cost NT$1.16 billion (US$37.6 million), Jean Co said.

The AIT in June held a dedication ceremony for its new compound in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), the first purpose-built facility by a foreign representative office in the nation.

The AIT is still operating out of its compound on Xinyi Road in Taipei, where it has been for almost 40 years, but is expected to officially move into the Neihu compound next month.

Additional reporting by staff writer

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