Small presence of Americans secretly training local forces marks concern over China’s years long military buildup and recent moves, learned GDC citing Wall Street Journal.
About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces, the officials said. The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training. The American forces have been operating in Taiwan for at least a year, the officials said.
The U.S. special-operations deployment is a sign of concern within the Pentagon over Taiwan’s tactical capabilities in light of Beijing’s years long military buildup and recent threatening moves against the island.
Taiwan and U.S. officials have expressed alarm over nearly 150 flights near Taiwan in the past week by Chinese military aircraft. The Chinese aircraft have included J-16 jet fighters, H-6 strategic bombers and Y-8 submarine-spotting aircraft and have set a record for such sorties, according to the Taiwan government.
The Navy Command at 10 a.m. on Monday morning issued a statement in which it said: “In order to maintain regional peace and stability, the military and security cooperation and exchanges between Taiwan and the U.S. are proceeding normally.” However, it would not comment on the details of the exchange.
It is notable that this time the Navy Command confirmed that active-duty U.S. Marines have come to Taiwan. This marks the first public confirmation of U.S. military exchanges involving U.S. Marines in Taiwan since the cessation of diplomatic relations between Taiwan and the United States in 1979.
The special operations unit and the Marine contingent are a small but symbolic effort by the U.S. to increase Taipei’s confidence in building its defenses against potential Chinese aggression. Current and former U.S. government officials and military experts believe that deepening ties between U.S. and Taiwan military units is better than simply selling Taiwan military equipment.
On Thursday, the CIA confirmed it would be creating a new “mission centre” to prioritize intelligence gathering on China.
Announcing the reorganization, the agency’s director, William Burns, called the Chinese government “the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century”.
Each battalion of the U.S. Marine Raiders Regiment is composed of four companies and each company has a team of more than 100 marines with special operations capabilities. The regiment has long been used to carry out reconnaissance missions and amphibious light infantry warfare via a variety of vessels, particularly in special ops boats.
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