Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee today said that plans by American Institute in Taiwan to station Marines to guard its new compound in Neihu District, Taipei City was legal under international diplomatic conventions.
The Minister was responding to a question raised by DPP legislator Tsai, Shih-Ying (蔡適應) in the Legislative Yuan. Tsai asked whether it would be legal for the AIT to station American troops in its compound, and if so, would it be legal for those troops to carry their service sidearms.
The question comes after former AIT Director Stephen Young said in Washington last Wednesday, that the new AIT compound had been designed to include a Marine House, and that marines would be posted there when it opens later this year.
Minister Lee said that under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, the AIT compound can be considered an extension of US territory and as such, US military personnel can carry service pistols.