Photo of USTDC courtesy of Les Duffin

Monday, April 21, 2008

Marine Guards

I don't usually comment on current events in Taiwan, but the Request For Proposal (RFP) by the US State Department to build quarters for US Marine guards at the AIT facility in Taipei is really fascinating.

I only recently learned on-line that American military personnel have been assigned to a defense attache role in Taiwan for the past couple of years. Now it appears that we plan to increase US military presence again with uniformed military guards. Though all of this is in a purely diplomatic setting, I expect that we'll be hearing a lot more about it, from both Beijing and Taipei.

An editorial in today's Taipei Times questions what's really going on, and seems to suggest that the US is simply trying to increase tension in the region, which makes no sense to me at all. My first reaction was that the move represents a possible shift in US policy regarding Taiwan, however unlikely that may seem. The truth may lie somewhere else entirely, but Secretary Rice is a pretty sharp cookie [Did I just call the Secretary of State a cookie?] and I'm sure that she and her staff have all this under control.

In any case, things could get really interesting in the days ahead.

********UPDATE -- 22 Apr 2008********

Despite the ambiguous wording by the US State Department, it appears that this matter is closed...for now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's no wonder the Taiwanese people are skittish about our "return" after having been dumped by Jimmy Carter many years ago.

They don't seem to have been anxiously awaiting our return and seem to have gotten along very well after our departure.

Even considering such a move as this one, without having at least
consulted with the Taiwanese, is
typical State Department heavy handedness.