- Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen mentioned US troops are stationed on the island.
- She confirmed joint coaching workouts.
- The US is Taiwan’s greatest arms provider.
A small variety of US forces are stationed in Taiwan to coach with Taiwanese troopers, President Tsai Ing-wen mentioned in an interview with CNN, confirming the presence of US troops on the self-governing island that China considers its personal.
Tensions between Taiwan and China, which has not dominated out taking the island by pressure, have escalated in latest weeks as Beijing raises navy and political stress.
Tsai instructed CNN within the interview aired on Thursday:
We have now a variety of cooperation with the US aiming at growing our defence functionality.
Requested what number of US service members are deployed in Taiwan, she mentioned solely that it was “not as many as individuals thought”.
The affirmation comes as China is sharply growing navy stress on Taiwan, together with repeated missions by Chinese language warplanes in Taiwan’s air defence identification zone.
Whereas a number of Taiwan and worldwide media shops together with Reuters have beforehand reported such coaching with US troops, official affirmation may additional worsen US-China relations at a time when Beijing is finishing up muscular navy workouts close to Taiwan.
Requested about Tsai’s remark, Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng instructed reporters Taiwan-US navy interactions have been “rather a lot and fairly frequent” and had been occurring for a very long time.
He didn’t elaborate.
The US, like most international locations, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan however is its most essential worldwide ally and foremost arms provider.
Tsai has mentioned Taiwan is an impartial nation and repeatedly vowed to defend its democracy and freedom.
Requested about experiences on the US troops in Taiwan, Chinese language international ministry mentioned earlier this month that the USA ought to stop navy ties and arms gross sales to Taiwan to keep away from damaging bilateral relations.
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