Pentagon refuses to confirm US special forces presence in Taiwan

The United States Department of Defense (US) official, the Pentagon, refused to confirm reports that US troops were in Taiwan and were secretly training Taiwanese troops to prepare them in case of an attack by China against the country.

Wall Street Journal Thursday (7/10) reported the Pentagon was deploying about two dozen special forces working with selected Taiwanese military units, while a contingent of US Marines was dispatched to train other Taiwanese troops in maritime tactics.

U.S. officials, who spoke to Wall Street Journal anonymously, said American troops had been involved in training for at least a year.

A Pentagon representative on Thursday declined to confirm the report, although a spokesman said U.S.-Taiwan relations “remain aligned in countering the current threat emanating from the People’s Republic of China.”

“China has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan, and other allies and partners, including increased military activities carried out near Taiwan, the East China Sea and the South China Sea which we believe will destabilize and increase the risk of miscalculations, ” Department of Defense spokesman John Supple told FLY in a statement.

“America has a lasting interest in peace, security, and stability (in the) Indo-Pacific region, including (in the region) the Taiwan Strait,” Supple added.

“We urge Beijing to honor its commitment to the peaceful resolution of the cross -Straits dispute, as outlined in the three (previous) communications.”

When asked about the report Wall Street Journal that, Taiwan’s main representative office in the US told FLY it does not have any comment on the issue.

Several members of the US Congress on Thursday said they also could not confirm whether American special forces were conducting training in Taiwan, although they expressed support for the mission. (jm / em)

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