Wed, Dec 24, 2003 - Page 3 News List

US to pay over NT$330 million for new AIT location

CNA , TAIPEI

The US will pay more than NT$330 million (US$9.7 million) to rent a new site for the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) for 99 years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

The AIT is the US' top representative office in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The MOFA said in a report that the lease on the AIT's current office on Hsinyi Road will expire soon.

Taipei City Council decided earlier that the present site of the AIT office will be turned into a junior high school on June 30 next year. The US had asked the ministry to locate a new site for the AIT office, with the former eventually selecting an empty lot in Neihu, suburban Taipei.

MOFA carried out the task of obtaining ownership of the land, which had been partially owned by the central government, the city government and private individuals. It was purchased at an estimated cost of more than NT$230 million.

The US will pay a lump sum of more than NT$330 million to rent the land for 99 years, and it will spend NT$160 million on constructing a building on the site.

Under the principle of reciprocity, the Taiwanese government has asked to rent the present Coordination Council for North American Affairs, which is the counterpart of AIT, in downtown Taipei for 99 years at a price of more than NT$88 million.

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