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China cries foul at deployment of US soldiers at AIT in Taiwan

China urges US to correct its 'wrongdoing' of stationing US soldiers at AIT in Taiwan

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US Marines (Image from US gov)

US Marines (Image from US gov)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After news broke on Wednesday (April 3) that soldiers have been posted at the de-facto American embassy in Taiwan since 2005, China's government issued a statement on Thursday (April 4) complaining that it violated the "one China" principle and urged the U.S. to correct its "wrongdoing."

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Spokesperson Amanda Mansour confirmed on Wednesday for the first time that the U.S. Department of State has stationed active duty military personnel at AIT since 2005, and it will follow the same course for the new office complex, reported Liberty Times.

The U.S. government stations Marine Security Guards overseas to provide security in its embassies and consulates. Yet according to Mansour, the stationing of the U.S. military at AIT consists of “military personnel from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.”

At a press conference on Thursday, China's Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang responded to the news by saying, "The US sending military personnel to Taiwan under whatever pretext constitutes a violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, which will inevitably have a negative impact on the bilateral relations."

Geng said that Beijing urges the U.S. to adhere to the "one China" principle and "three China-U.S. joint communiques." He then warned the U.S. to correct its "wrongdoing" to avoid "serious damage" to China-U.S. relations.

Conflicting reports have been swirling for months as to whether U.S. Marines will be stationed at the new AIT compound slated to be opened on May 6. The latest AIT announcement seems to contradict a decision by former U.S. Secretary of Defense General James Mattis last year to reject the deployment of Marines to the new compound.