The U.S. Special Forces and Navy have been secretly training Taiwanese troops for more than a year, endangering China’s anger, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
Amid China’s growing verbal threats against US island allies, the Journal reports that about two dozen U.S. service members have been training Taiwanese ground and naval forces for “at least a year.”
Cited unnamed officials for the report. The Taiwanese Ministry of Defense declined to comment on the report.
The Pentagon has neither confirmed nor denied it. Spokesman John Sable said US support for Taiwan’s military is measured by its security needs.
“Our support and security relationship with Taiwan has been restructured by the People’s Republic of China against the current threat,” Supply said in a statement.
“We urge Beijing to respect its commitment to resolving cross-border disputes peacefully.”
The report appeared last November, confirming Taiwanese media articles quoting Taiwan’s naval command – US forces had arrived there to train Taiwanese navy and special forces in small boat and waterfall operations.
Those statements were later denied by US and Taiwanese officials, who stressed that both sides were involved in military exchanges and cooperation.
The United States is supplying Taiwan with weapons, including missiles, including defense and warplanes, amid threats of forcible recapture of Beijing Island and reunification with China.
The United States maintains a vague commitment to protect Taiwan, which Beijing considers a treacherous province.
A video released last year and featured in the Taiwanese media showed US troops participating in an exercise known as “reserve damage.”
Chinese forces have stepped up their operations towards Taiwan over the past year, conducting naval offensive exercises and flying large bombers and fighters near Taiwan airspace.
On Monday, Taiwan chased down its own air force following the entry of 56 air fighter jets into its air defense zone.
U.S. State Department spokesman Nate Price called the Chinese move “disruptive” and “provocative.”
“We strongly urge an end to Beijing’s military, diplomatic and economic pressure and pressure against Taiwan,” he said, calling the US commitment to the island “rock solid.”
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was created automatically from a syndicate feed.)