The Pentagon has sent special operations forces to Taiwan for several years to help Taiwan prepare for a possible attack on China.
Those familiar with the short-term replacement of special forces said the United States is training Taiwanese troops in connection with the purchase of US troops on the island, such as F-16 fighters.
One said the rotation had been going on for at least 10 years and included the US Marine Corps, Army Special Forces, and Navy seals. A second person said the move was part of US efforts to help Taiwan strengthen its defenses as the threat from China increased.
The first disclosure reported by The Wall Street Journal is in the midst of heightened tensions over Taiwan.China is flying a record number Warplane In Taiwan’s “air defense identification zone”.
The Pentagon declined to comment on the deployment, but said US support for Taiwan was commensurate with the threat from China. The US administration is required to help the island defend itself under the Taiwan Relations Act.
“China has stepped up efforts to intimidate and put pressure on Taiwan and other allies and partners, including increased military activity near Taiwan, the East China Sea and the South China Sea,” said Pentagon spokesman John Supple. Said.
On Friday, China’s Foreign Ministry said that when Washington established diplomatic relations with Beijing in 1979, it agreed to have only “cultural, business and other informal relations with Taiwan.”
“The United States should clearly know the high sensitivity of the Taiwan issue … Reduce troops [links] With Taiwan, “said a spokesman for the ministry.
“It’s routine and not unusual at all,” said Haino Clink, a Taiwanese and Chinese expert who was a senior Pentagon Asian official under the Trump administration.
“The United States and Taiwan have strong and long-standing informal military-to-military relationships, usually with the support of foreign military sales agreements, including training together by the military,” Klink said. rice field.
The Biden administration has repeatedly told Beijing that its relationship with Taipei is “solid” to warn China about the risks of taking military action against Taiwan. US concerns are rising as China’s Air Force and Navy military operations become more and more active in the region.
Taiwan’s defense minister this week said China is fully capable Invasion The first public warning about the possibility of war, the country by 2025.
“For decades, Beijing has argued that it is pursuing a peaceful path to solving Taiwan’s problems. Obviously, China is not fulfilling this promise,” the Trump administration said. Ivan Kanapathy, a Chinese expert at CSIS, a think tank who served as an official at White House Asia, said.
Bonnie Glazer, a Chinese expert at the German Marshall Foundation, said the deployment was not surprising with the emergence of social media posts showing that U.S. special forces were training Taiwanese troops during the Trump era. rice field. However, she said disclosure could increase tensions.
“Publicizing this will force the Chinese to react, and they will probably do so by increasing pressure on Taiwan,” Glasser said.
“Given how much pressure they have put in the past week, they want to send a stronger signal, so I’m worried they’ll do something more volatile than increasing the number of sorties around Taiwan. is needed.”
Additional report by Xinning Liu in Beijing
U.S. Special Forces Secretly Trains Taiwan Army
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