US presence in Taiwan to increase by over four folds
US officials have been cited as saying that an additional 100 to 200 US troops are likely to be deployed to Taiwan amid alleged Chinese "threats".
The US claimed that a rising "threat" from China vis-à-vis Taiwan has led it to plan a four-fold increase in the number of troops on the Island, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
The report, which cited US officials, explained that currently, 30 US troops are stationed in Taiwan, however, it is planned that an additional 100 to 200 soldiers are likely to arrive over the coming months.
The newly deployed troops will include special operations forces and US Marines that will be tasked to expand a pre-existing training program that the Pentagon wanted to keep out of the public eye.
According to the WSJ report, the purpose of the enhanced training program is to persuade Taiwan to adopt a "porcupine strategy" or an asymmetric military tactic, in order to stave off any alleged Chinese "invasion" of the island.
Taiwanese soldiers at Camp Grayling
At Camp Grayling in northern Michigan, the Pentagon is reportedly holding a separate training program for a group of Taiwanese military personnel. In that program, which is run by the Michigan National Guard, Taiwanese soldiers have participated in annual exercises with a number of other nations.
The Pentagon's increased training efforts come amid escalating US-China tensions, following a Chinese balloon observed traveling over the US continent a few weeks ago, which caused a diplomatic uproar and forced US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abandon a visit to Beijing for the time being.
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