Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen stated in an interview with CNN on Thursday, 28th Oct that small US military troops are training with the Taiwanese military soldiers on an island that China assumed to be its own.
Earlier in October, a journalist reportedly cited US officials secretly providing training to Taiwanese ground soldiers on the disputed island for more than a year.
Tsai stated in the same interview that ‘we have a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability.’
The US official, however, didn’t mention the number of US military troops in Taiwan, but specifically said that they are not as many as people might be thinking about.
Tension among China and Taiwan has begun increasing after once Beijing increased political and military pressure at the same time when the disputed territory was refused to be taken into control by force.
The confirmation of the troops comes when China suddenly increased pressure on Taiwan which can be witnessed by the repeated missions of Chinese warplanes in Taiwanese zones.
Wang Wenbin, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson reacted when he was asked to comment on Tsai’s statements, saying “Taiwan independence is a dead end, and there will also be no turning back for those who support it,”
He put pressure while saying that the United States should stop and cease all the official and military interaction with Taiwan adhering to the one-China principle.
“The U.S. should abide by the One-China Principle…and not whatever thing it concocts up itself unilaterally,”
Although, many international media channels and Taiwan itself have reported the presence and training of the US troops. However, these kinds of official statements can further aggravate the tensions between the US and China. Especially, when the Beijing forces are executing military training near Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng responded to Tsai’s comment when a reporter asked, he said that Taiwan-US military collaborations are not new and had been in the news for long.
As for history, the United States eliminated its troops permanently from Taiwan in 1979 when the US disconnected its diplomatic connections with Taipei favoring Beijing.
Like many other countries around the world, the United States also has no official ties with Taiwan. But it has been an important arms supplier and one of the important international allies. As for the Tsai, she admits that Taiwan is an independent territory and vowed recurrently to defend its freedom and democracy.