The United States is within its rights to use US Marines to guard the new AIT compound in Taipei. That’s the word from the foreign minister, David Lee, on Friday.
The AIT, or American Institute in Taiwan, is the de facto American embassy in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic ties. Former AIT director Stephen Young said earlier this week that the US will for the first time station Marines at the new AIT office, in Taipei’s Neihu district.
The foreign minister said the government respects the US’ decision and that the decision was made on a legal basis.
It is usual for Marines to guard US diplomatic missions around the world but this has not been the case in Taiwan until now. Lee declined to say whether he thought the move signified a breakthrough in US-Taiwan relations.