Taipei, The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) confirmed Thursday that it had recently purchased a piece of land in Taipei to build a residential complex for its staff, saying the decision reflected the United States' strong long-term commitment to Taiwan.
"On November 28, 2018, AIT finalized a conditional purchase agreement with Jean Company, Ltd. for the construction of a new residential tower in Tianmu and purchase of the underlying land," AIT spokesperson Jesse Curtis told CNA in an email.
"When completed, AIT plans to use the residential tower as housing for AIT staff and their families," he said, confirming a report in the Liberty Times about the deal.
Curtis said, however, that it was not the AIT's first real estate purchase in Taiwan as the newspaper had reported, but he did not elaborate.
The purchase of the land for the construction of a residential building for AIT staff reflected the U.S.' commitment to its ties with Taiwan but did not indicate any change in the U.S.' one-China policy or its commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act, Curtis said.
"The U.S. is strongly committed to our enduring friendship with Taiwan, with whom we share common values and enjoy close cooperation on a wide range of regional and global issues," he said. "The purchase of real property on Taiwan is another reflection of this commitment."
The 1,000-square-meter plot of land in the Tianmu area and construction of the building will cost NT$1.16 billion (US$37 million) in total, according to Jean Company.
Earlier this year, the AIT, which represents U.S. interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties, held a dedication ceremony for a 14,934-square-meter, five-story complex in Taipei's Neihu District, which will soon serve as its new office compound.
The AIT is still operating out of its offices on Xinyi Road, where it has been located for almost 40 years, but is expected to officially move into its new Neihu compound around the end of the year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel