BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


US special forces quietly training Taiwanese: official

US special forces quietly training Taiwanese: official

TAIPEI: US special operations forces have been quietly training Taiwanese troops for months, risking the ire of China, a Pentagon official said yesterday (Oct 7).

militarypolitics
By AFP

Friday 8 October 2021, 12:12PM


Taiwan special forces personnel walk behind an armored personnel carrier during an annual military drill in Taichung, central Taiwan. Photo: AFP

Taiwan special forces personnel walk behind an armored personnel carrier during an annual military drill in Taichung, central Taiwan. Photo: AFP

A contingent of around 20 special operations and conventional forces has been conducting the training for less than a year, the official, who declined to be identified, told AFP, adding that some of the trainers rotate in and out.

The official largely confirmed a Wall Street Journal report which said the training has been going on for at least a year, amid China’s rising verbal threats against the island ally of the United States.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report, but Pentagon spokesman John Supple said that generally speaking, US support for Taiwan’s military is gauged on its defense needs.

“Our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” Supple said in a statement.

“We urge Beijing to honor its commitment to the peaceful resolution of cross-Strait differences.”

Taiwan’s Premier Su Tseng-chang said “a just cause always attracts much support” when asked to comment on the Wall Street Journal report today.

“We are making every effort to defend our national sovereignty and our people as well as maintaining regional peace. We are doing all we can and we appreciate like-minded countries working together,” he said.

Taiwan media reported last November, citing Taiwan’s Naval Command, that US troops had arrived there to train Taiwan marines and special forces in small-boat and amphibious operations.

But those reports were subsequently denied by US and Taiwanese officials, who emphasised the two sides are only involved in bilateral military exchanges and cooperation.

Phuket Property

The United States supplies weapons to Taiwan, including missiles for defense and fighter jets, amid Beijing’s threat to forcibly retake control of the island and reintegrate it with China.

The US also maintains an ambiguous commitment to defend Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

A video released last year and featured in Taiwan media showed US troops taking part in an exercise on the island dubbed “Balance Tamper.”

Chinese forces have stepped up their activities toward Taiwan in the past year, conducting sea assault exercises and flying large sorties of bombers and fighters close to Taiwan airspace.

Taiwan’s defense minister said Wednesday that military tensions between the island and China are at their highest in four decades, after around 150 Chinese warplanes - a record number - made incursions into its air defense zone in recent days.

He warned that even “slight carelessness” or “miscalculation” could spark a crisis, and that Beijing would be in a position to launch a full-scale invasion in four years.

US State Department Spokesman Ned Price called the Chinese activity “destabilizing” and “provocative.”

“We strongly urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure and coercion against Taiwan,” he said, calling US commitment to the island “rock-solid”.

“Let me just say this, we are going to take action now to try to prevent that day from ever coming to pass,” national security adviser Jake Sullivan told the BBC when asked if Washington was prepared to take military actions to defend Taiwan.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Online bank fraud faces probe

This form of scamming is in Thailand still in its infancy as many things here always start later tha...(Read More)


Online bank fraud faces probe

On Phuket, don't pay with credit cards, but cash. Don't let electric-, water-, TOT-, True Vi...(Read More)


Police warn dangerous drivers at checkpoint will be fined

Drivers can receive many warnings. Every time from other RTP officer. Hehehe. Give straight a fine ...(Read More)


‘No need to halt’ boosters for Sinovac, says Anutin

They are twisting/crawling around with their vaccination justifications. When vaccinated with weak c...(Read More)


Vaccine certificates available via app

During the 'farang' Pfizer vaccination day' in Saphanhin indoor stadium I had to pass 3 ...(Read More)


Vaccine certificates available via app

Vaccine 'passports', are just Yellow Vaccination registration books, not passports. Should b...(Read More)


‘No need to halt’ boosters for Sinovac, says Anutin

Yes, only vaccinating the places that bring in tourist dollars is no way to sort out this country. S...(Read More)


Phuket candidates register for OrBorTor election

I like it 'here' just fine. It's people that annoy me- not just Thais either. Maybe if I...(Read More)


Vaccine certificates available via app

Apparently the assumption is everyone uses an internet smart phone and everyone know how to do ...(Read More)


Online bank fraud faces probe

Personally I can't believe people use their phones to pay for things. It does not seem secure. W...(Read More)