Fri, Aug 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

SCMP reports marines will be sent; AIT repeats denial

Staff writer, with CNA

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) yesterday reiterated that security arrangements at its new compound in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖) would remain 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 said.

The AIT official’s comments came after the South China Morning Post (SCMP) yesterday reported that the US had confirmed it would send US security personnel to the office when its new premises become operational next month.

If US Marine Corps personnel were to be sent to guard the facility, it would be their first such assignment in Taiwan in nearly 40 years, the paper said.

Former AIT director Kin Mo repeatedly told the local media before his departure last month that there was already a small number of US personnel at the AIT office on Xinyi Road who were coordinating with Taiwanese security staff and that the practice would continue in Neihu.

“We don’t make political statements with our security,” he said at the dedication ceremony of the new facility on June 12. “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 is to move to its new facility sometime in the fall.

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