A small number of U.S. special operations forces have temporarily traveled to Taiwan to train Taiwanese forces there, two sources familiar with the matter said Thursday, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Pentagon, which historically has not disclosed details of US training or advising Taiwanese forces, has not specifically commented or confirmed the deployment.
“I have no comments on specific operations, engagements or training, but I would like to stress that our support and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned with the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” said the spokesperson for the Pentagon. Soft Jean. The sources declined to say how long the training lasted, but suggested it predated the Biden administration, which took office in January.
While at least one Asian media outlet has already reported on such training, any kind of official confirmation from the United States could further worsen US-China relations at a time when Beijing is conducting heavy-duty military exercises near Taiwan. The Wall Street Journal published details of the training earlier Thursday, citing unnamed U.S. officials. “I would not rule out the possibility that Beijing is aware of this,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the Asia program at the German Marshall Fund, noting a post on social media under the Trump administration on training by operations forces. special.
“Making this public will force the Chinese to respond, and they will likely do so by stepping up the pressure on Taiwan.” Democratic Representative Ami Bera, who heads the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asia, was asked at a defense conference whether he had been made aware of the deployment.
“Not particularly this deployment, if I call it a deployment. I think we have special operators and others there, and we have in the past trained the army (of Taiwan) by working with them,” Bera said. Republican Senator Thom Tillis, who is on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said at the same event that he had not been specifically briefed and had only seen public reports, but added: “In fact, I’d be happier if that number were in the hundreds. “
The United States is Taiwan’s largest arms supplier and has a long history of providing some training in weapon systems, as well as detailed advice on how to strengthen its military to guard against an Army invasion. People’s Liberation of China. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and has not ruled out taking the island by force.
Chinese military planes have repeatedly flown over Taiwan’s vast air defense identification area in recent days, which extends well beyond Taiwanese airspace. But China appears to have avoided Taiwanese airspace, no shots were fired, and there were no known close calls between Chinese and Taiwanese planes.
The Taiwanese government has denounced China’s military exercises and said it will defend the island’s freedom and democracy, insisting that only the Taiwanese people can decide their future.
(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)