President of Taiwan confirms US troops are TRAINING with Taiwanese soldiers on the island

Taiwan’s president said in an interview this week that there are U.S. troops training Taiwanese soldiers as the threat of an invasion from China grows.

Tsai Ing-wen confirmed that the U.S. has sent troops to the island to bolster the Taiwanese military’s training. China has long considered Taiwan part of itself, while Taiwan sees itself separate, operating as a democracy. This has caused increasing tension between the two.

In an interview that aired on CNN on Thursday, Tsai Ing-wen, the president of Taiwan, said that there were members of the U.S. military stationed on the island. “We have a wide range of cooperation with the U.S. aiming at increasing our defense capability,” she said, also adding that there were “not as many as people thought,” when asked how many were stationed there.

Taiwan has seen an increased amount of pressure from China on their island. Earlier this month, Chinese warplanes entered Taiwan’s defense zone. Media outlets, like Reuters have reported that U.S. has sent troops over, but it has not been confirmed until now. Although not as fragile as that of Taiwan, the U.S.-China relationship is delicate, especially as military operations in Beijing are escalating.

Chiu Kuo-cheng, Taiwan’s Defense Minister was asked about Tsai’s comment, to which he said there were “quite a lot and quite frequent” interactions between the Taiwan and U.S. militaries. He did clarify that U.S. troops are not stationed there permanently when asked if the U.S. presence could be cause for Chinese invasion.

The Wall Street Journal also recently speculated that the U.S. was helping train Taiwanese troops. The Journal also published an article claiming that China would be able to invade Taiwan in the next few years. Given the increasing tension, the relationship between the democratic U.S. and Taiwan is unsurprising.

Tsai also said, “I do have faith given the long term relationship we have with the U.S. and also the support of the people of the U.S. as well as Congress” (Defense News). The last time a Taiwan president acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops was in 1979, when the U.S. officially departed the island.

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