Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Pentagon Data Shows US Troops Have Been Secretly Stationed on Taiwan as Far Back as 2008 - FARS

(FNA)- The United States has kept small numbers of troops deployed on Taiwan since at least 2008, internal Pentagon data revealed.



According to the military’s personnel, workforce and publications files, which includes information on active duty service member strength, and military and civilian personnel operating in the United States and abroad, the US troop deployment on Taiwan goes back to the twilight of the George W. Bush administration, RIA Novosti reported.

A downloadable Excel file for September 30, 2008 lists three Navy and four Air Force personnel to have been stationed on Taiwan at the time.

Unnamed sources said to be familiar with the data confirmed the troops’ presence on the island to Foreign Policy – the first publication to report on the figures. Two sources added that although the Bush and Barack Obama-era deployments appear to have been limited "mostly" to the training of their Taiwanese counterparts in the use of American-made weapons, the deployments expanded under Donald Trump and Joe Biden to include Special Forces and Marines in a bid to “harden” Taiwan and prepare it for a possible Chinese amphibious invasion.

One unnamed former official noted US troops working out of America’s de facto embassy have been helping the Taiwanese to locate potential Chinese landing sites and fortify these positions “for years”. The same official stated the decision to beef up US troop numbers under Trump was carried out on the insistence of John Bolton, his former National Security Advisor.

Trump fired Bolton in 2019, calling him “one of the dumbest people in Washington”, but did not diminish the stepped-up presence in Taiwan.

The 2008 data also curiously showed that three US Marines somehow remained stationed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, despite the country’s collapse in late 1991. Another 29,510 troops were stationed in regions "unknown".

Along with the steady deployment of US troops on Taiwan across four separate administrations, data appeared to show a small jump in the number of Marines deployed to the island this year. In June 2021, for example, figures showed that 30 active-duty troops and 15 Pentagon civilian employees were working on the island, among them 23 Marines.

Several weeks after The Wall Street Journal first reported in early October that a limited contingent of about two dozen US Marines and Special Operations troops were stationed on Taiwan, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed the troops’ presence, sparking fury from Beijing, which considers the island an integral part of the People’s Republic.

Last week, Taiwan also revealed that some 40 of its troops were in Guam training with US forces.

Asked to comment on the troop deployments, a Pentagon spokesman announced that US support for Taiwan was “aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China”, and claimed that it was “in line with our commitments” under both the Taiwan Relations Act and the One China Policy.

Washington has long maintained that its troops left Taiwan for good in 1979, when the US and China formally established diplomatic relations, and America began formally adhering to the One China Policy – which recognises the PRC as the only sovereign state under the name China, and Taiwan’s status as "unresolved" amid Beijing’s claims to the island.

Beijing has blasted the US over revelations that its troops remain present in Taiwan, urging Washington to adhere to the One China Policy and the provisions of the three US-Chinese communiques on diplomatic ties negotiated between 1972 and 1982.

Last month, when asked in a briefing about the Chinese position on US troops on Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin stressed that Beijing “strongly” opposes “any official and military contacts between the US and Taiwan, as well as US interference in China’s internal affairs".

Chinese media went further, warning that the People’s Liberation Army could carry out airstrikes to “eliminate those US invaders” and accusing Washington of “playing with fire” by trying to “get on the mainland’s nerves” and risking a military conflict.

The revelations on the troops, combined with regular US "freedom of navigation" missions through the Taiwan Strait, and President Biden’s remarks about being committed to aid Taiwan should Chinese “bad guys” attack the island, have dramatically escalated tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Chinese authorities expect the island’s eventual peaceful reunification with the mainland in line with the "One Country, Two Systems" model applied to Hong Kong in 1997. Last month, President Xi Jinping reiterated that reunification would “definitely” take place, and suggested that “to achieve the reunification of the motherland by peaceful means” would be “most in line with the overall interests of the Chinese nation, including our compatriots in Taiwan".

Taiwan has been ruled by a separate government since 1949 – when nationalist Kuomintang forces which lost the Chinese civil war to the communists fled to the island. While the Kuomintang party – which ruled the island throughout the second half of the 20th century and worked to establish economic ties and informal diplomatic links with Beijing in the 1980s and 1990s, generally favours reunification, the current ruling party, Tsai’s Democratic Progressives, are aggressively opposed to the idea. Since coming to power in 2016, the party has sought to strengthen ties with Washington.

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 El Ejército Popular de Liberación (EPL) de China llevó a cabo este martes un patrullaje de preparación para el combate en las proximidades del estrecho de Taiwán, en respuesta a la visita de congresistas estadounidenses a Taipéi, informa Global Times.

1 comment:

  1. (FNA)- The PLA Eastern Theater Command conducted a joint combat readiness patrol near the Taiwan Straits to further improve the joint combat capability of multiple military services and branches, said Senior Colonel Shi Yi, spokesperson for the PLA Eastern Theater Command, on Tuesday, Global Times reported.

    Shi's remarks were made after Taiwan's authority said that US congressmen and senators took a military plane to the island.

    Taiwan is part of Chinese territory, and this drill is targeted at a certain country's seriously wrong moves and remarks on the Taiwan question and Taiwan secessionists' activities, and is a necessary measure to safeguard the country's sovereignty, Shi said.

    The command will stay on high alert, take necessary measures and strike back on any move that endangers China's core interests and any provocation that threatens the peace and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and firmly safeguard the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, said Shi.

    Defense authority of Taiwan said on Tuesday night that six PLA aircraft, namely four J-16 fighter jets, a Y-8 reconnaissance aircraft and a Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft, entered the island's self-proclaimed Southwest air defense identification zone on Tuesday.

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