Taiwan’s president has admitted for the first time that US troops are secretly training their forces on the island.
Tsai Ing-wen was speaking when China said US planes and ships carried out 2,000 spy missions against Beijing amid growing fears of war between the two nuclear powers.
Authoritarian China considers Taiwan part of its territory and has vowed to reunite the island state with the mainland by force if necessary.
America’s clandestine presence has raised eyebrows because Washington does not recognize the island as an independent nation.
The US does not have a formal defense agreement with the island and is deliberately unclear what it will do in the event of a Chinese invasion – although it is generally thought that the US will come to its rescue.
an. I asked interview with cnn How many American troops were in Taiwan, Tsai replied “not as many as people thought”.
“We have extensive cooperation with the United States aimed at enhancing our defense capability,” he said.
Asked whether he believed the United States would help defend Taiwan against China if needed, Tsai replied: “I believe so.”
Meanwhile, China has said US warships and planes conducted 2,000 close espionage missions aimed at its forces this year.
Targets include Chinese-controlled islands and reefs in the South China Sea, as well as coastal areas off the Chinese mainland. south china morning post reports
The details were revealed by researcher Cao Yanzhong of the People’s Liberation Army Academy of Military Science at a recent conference.
He said that spy missions have increased the possibility of war.
“The high frequency of such close reconnaissance jeopardizes China’s sovereign security and exacerbates regional tensions, which will inevitably trigger strong opposition to China and undoubtedly increase the risk of gunfire,” he said. .
US reconnaissance aircraft, ships and submarines are also carrying out more operations to monitor Chinese military air and naval bases on the islands and near the coast.
‘Gun fire hazard’
China has also accused the US of disguising warplanes as civilian aircraft for near-shore reconnaissance missions.
Beijing has sent a record number of warplanes to fly closer to Taiwan in recent weeks, in what is seen as an invasion rehearsal as it threatens to “strike at any time”.
In response, Tsai has said the island will never succumb to Chinese pressure and its leaders say it is preparing for war.
Taiwan’s disputed status stems from the Chinese Civil War, which was fought between 1946 and 1949.
Former Chinese mainland president Chiang Kai-shek and his supporters fled to the island in 1949 after the Chinese Communist Party’s victory.
The island of 25 million people has since developed a democratic identity of its own and incumbent President Tsai’s party supports moves toward full independence—which Beijing will wage war on.
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