OPINION: After AIT Opening, It’s Time to Stop Downplaying US-Taiwan Ties

Despite hype over the potential for Washington to make a real statement about its support for Taiwan at the opening of the new AIT complex, the end result was familiarly low-key.

The News Lens
Date: 2018/06/21
By: Dean Karalekas

Photo Credit:楊之瑜/關鍵評論網

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the official opening of the new compound housing the American institute in Taiwan (AIT), held to moderate fanfare on June 12, was just how unremarkable it was.

Despite talk that the event would be attended by National Security Advisor and noted China hawk John Bolton, those rumors proved to be unfounded, and in the end, the U.S. government sent a delegation led by Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Marie Royce.

True, Royce is the highest-level U.S. official to visit Taiwan since Washington de-recognized Taipei in 1979, and she is married to Republican Ed Royce, who is a noted pro-Taiwan advocate in the U.S. Congress. Nevertheless, the lineup felt almost purposefully low-key.

Like the Bolton rumors, there had also been speculation that serving U.S. Marines would be stationed at the new compound to provide security, as is the task of Marines at U.S. embassies (those without the de facto prefix) around the world.

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