The United States has a small military contingent stationed in Taiwan for at least a year to train local forces against a possible threat from China, revealed the US newspaper “Wall Street Journal”.
The contingent is made up of about 20 members of the Special Forces and the Marine Corps, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which quoted on Thursday US officials who requested anonymity.
The special operations group is reportedly training small units of Taiwanese ground forces, while the Marine Corps is training naval forces.
The alleged presence of US forces on the island for at least a year has never been officially confirmed.
The WSJ information came as tensions increased in the region following incursions by Chinese planes into the Taiwanese air zone, which led to relations between Taipei and Beijing reaching the worst moment in four decades, according to the island’s authorities.
Taiwan’s Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said China will be “able to stage a full-scale invasion” of the island by 2025.
In 1979, the US and China reached an agreement whereby Washington recognized Beijing as the only Chinese government, with the understanding that Taiwan would have a peaceful future.
The security advisers of China and the United States, Yang Jiechi and Jake Sullivan, respectively, met on Wednesday, in Zurich (Switzerland), in a meeting during which the Taiwan issue was addressed, among other issues, according to Washington.
Before the end of the year, US President Joe Biden and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are expected to have a virtual meeting.
Taiwan has been autonomously governed since 1949 when the nationalist forces of the Kuomintang took refuge there after being defeated by the communist troops who founded the People’s Republic of China on the mainland.
Beijing considers the island part of China, to be reunited, if necessary, by force.
Source: with Agencies