According to a report in the The Wall Street Journal, there are approximately two dozen US troops in Taiwan. Special Forces troops to conduct training on ground force operations and a small contingent of Marines to conduct training for Taiwanese maritime operations. The report says they’ve been there for about a year. The report surfaced after the record numbers of Chinese aircraft that have flown near the island. And China is extremely unhappy, claiming it violates agreements with Beijing made years ago.
The news report came amid a record-setting number of Chinese military flights around the island. The People’s Liberation Army made a total of 149 military flights over four days, including 56 on Monday, The Associated Press reported.
It also comes at a time of heightened U.S.-China tensions over issues ranging from trade to human rights to COVID-19 and seems sure to further stoke Beijing’s ire.take our poll - story continues below
In a statement to the Journal, the Chinese foreign ministry said the country “will take all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The Marine Corps referred questions to the Pentagon, and the Pentagon responded generically, which likely means that the US troops in Taiwan were originally a secret.
I don’t have any comments on specific operations, engagements, or training, but I would like to highlight that our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China.
John Supple, Pentagon spokesman
The Pentagon aimed to reassure Taiwan that the US will stand by its commitments. The US also tried to reassure Beijing that the US still has the ‘One China policy,’ which is decades old. It was designed not to provoke Beijing, while at the same time attempting to keep Taiwan from actually declaring independence. In recent years the US has sent Billions in arms to Taiwan, which also ticks off the mainland.
Some leaders in China almost immediately expressed outrage Thursday at a new report indicating the U.S. has secretly stationed forces on Taiwan in an attempt to bolster the island nation’s defenses against the increasing likelihood of an attack from the mainland…
“Why just two dozen members? Why secretly? The US should send 240 servicemen publicly, in US military uniform, and make public where they are stationed,” Hu Xijin, the editor in chief of China’s English language Global Times, considered a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party, wrote in a tweet accompanying the Journal’s article. He added of China’s military, “See whether the PLA will launch a targeted air strike to eliminate those US invaders!“
If there are US troops present on Taiwan island, China will crush them by force: Global Times editorial https://t.co/m2iZQt7oba
— Apex (@Apex_WW) October 7, 2021
A tweet by Senator John Cornyn back in August got the number of US Troops in Taiwan wrong, so he deleted the tweet. But not before China found it and responded with anger. The Taiwanese government immediately disputed the numbers, saying that the last US troops left in 1979. The claim of 30,000 troops in Taiwan was incorrect, and referred to pre-1979 levels.
China is somewhat like a brat that constantly has a temper tantrum over things they want. Could those tantrums lead to war? Taiwan thinks China could invade by 2025. By claiming they could kill the American ”invaders” with an airstrike, they could start such a war early. With the weak Biden administration in charge of foreign policy, we could all be in for a wild ride.
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