Pentagon Blocks Request to send Marine Embassy Guards to Taiwan

Ministry of Defense officials have rejected a request from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to send about a dozen marines to guard a de facto embassy in Taiwan, has confirmed.

Military officials were planning to send a squadrele Marine Security Guard detachment to Taipei City, the capital of Taiwan, as soon as next month, said a defense official. That plan has now been deleted after the request of the State Department was rejected by officials of the Pentagon, added the source.

The move was first reported by CNN on Thursday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had asked for the marines to be sent to the US institute in Taiwan earlier this summer. It would be the first time in almost four decades that Marines would have guarded a diplomatic post there.

There is no US Embassy in Taiwan. The US recognize the & # 39; one-China policy & # 39 ;, and prevent direct diplomatic or military exchanges between Washington and Taipei. Officials in Beijing oppose the idea of ​​basing marines on the diplomatic mission in Taiwan, which they said have violated "political conditions for relations between China and the US".

"The US … know that it should be careful with this problem to avoid compromising general bilateral ties," said Lu Kang, spokesperson for the Chinese ministry in June.

Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to answer questions about who rejected the request and why and only added that they "do not discuss any specific security issues relating to the protection of our facilities or personnel."

CNN reported that Minister Jim Mattis of Defense made the call to refuse the request due to limited resources. It was not done to prevent irritation from the communist government, reported the outlet.

The US institute in Taiwan has recently doubled in size after the addition of a $ 250 million facility. It houses approximately 450 diplomatic staff members.

– Gina Harkins can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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