Small U.S. Marine presence in Taiwan could ruffle Chinese feathers

Los Angeles Times
Date: April 08, 2019 
By: Ralph Jennings

The Stars and Stripes flies at the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. Embassy in Taipei, in June 2018. (David Chang / EPA/Shuttterstock)

With a new de facto American Embassy in Taiwan nearly completed, a spokesperson announcing the opening of the 161,000-square-foot, privately run compound said last week that U.S. Marines have periodically protected the organization’s headquarters since 2005 and did not rule out future deployments.
For years, the U.S. had not commented on the presence in Taiwan of any military personnel, who are said to have operated discreetly inside the compound of the American Institute in Taiwan rather than standing guard at entrances.

The vague acknowledgement from a spokesperson for the American Institute in Taiwan could ruffle feathers again in China, which has long claimed that Taiwan is a part of its territory. It is the latest in a series of incidents over the past year with the potential of further roiling U.S.-China relations.

Over the last nine months, U.S. Navy ships have passed five times through the Taiwan Strait separating the island from China. And less than a month ago, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said her government had asked Washington for a package of American-made F-16V fighter jets.    [FULL  STORY]

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