US says it supports Taiwan amid Chinese threat

The United States has said that its support for and defence relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the people’s Republic of China, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

Washington [US], October 8 : The remarks made by Pentagon spokesperson John Supple come amid a report in Wall Street Journal that claimed that a US special operation unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly training military forces in Taiwan to help shore up the country’s defence. Though Supple declined to comment on the specifics of the report, he said that US’ support for Taiwan remains “strong, principled, and bipartisan,” in line with his country’s one-China policy and longstanding commitments, Focus Taiwan reported.
The US will continue to support the peaceful resolution of cross-Taiwan Strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on both sides, Supple said.
“The United States has an abiding interest in the peace, security, and stability of the Indo-Pacific – including in the Taiwan Strait,” he said.
“The PRC has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan and other allies and partners, including increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, East China Sea, and South China Sea, which we believe are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation,” he added.
Taiwan said it will keep working with the US and other like-minded partners in promoting peace, security and prosperity in the region.
Appreciating US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s remarks on US support to Taiwan amid activities that are “fundamentally destabilising”, the Foreign Ministry of Taiwan tweeted: “We’ll keep working with the U.S. and other like-minded partners in promoting peace, security & prosperity.”
The US extended its support to Taiwan with Sullivan saying: “We are going to stand up and speak out”. Sullivan made the remarks in an interview with BBC a day after meeting with senior Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi.
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday reported the Pentagon has about two dozen special operations troops working with select units of Taiwan’s armed forces, while a contingent of U.S. Marines has been training other forces on maritime tactics.
Meanwhile, Voice of America reported that US Defence department officials are refusing to confirm reports that American forces are in Taiwan and are secretly training Taiwanese troops.
On Wednesday, Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said China might mount a full-scale invasion of the island nation by 2025.
China has sent in recent days almost 150 military aircraft close to Taiwan while the US and other allied forces conducted drills in the South China Sea.
Since mid-September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its grey-zone tactics by regularly sending planes into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most instances occurring in the southwest corner of the zone and usually consisting of one to three slow-flying turboprop planes.
Beijing claims full sovereignty over Taiwan, a democracy of almost 24 million people located off the southeastern coast of mainland China, despite the fact that the two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.
Taipei, on the other hand, has countered the Chinese aggression by increasing strategic ties with democracies including the US, which has been repeatedly opposed by Beijing. China has threatened that “Taiwan’s independence” means war.
On June 1, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to complete reunification with self-ruled Taiwan and vowed to smash any attempts at formal independence for the island.

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