taiwain military soldier
© Taiwan Military News AgencyA Taiwanese soldier takes part in a military exercise on January 31, 2024, in eastern Taitung county. U.S. Army special forces are reportedly training Taiwanese soldiers on the outlying islands of Penghu and Kinmen.
Specialists from the U.S. Army are training Taiwanese soldiers in what is described as a permanent arrangement rather than on a rotational basis, including on an island just six miles from the Chinese coast, according to a local newspaper.

Taiwan's United Daily News (UDN) reported on Sunday that the training regimens were being planned and supervised by the 1st Special Forces Group, an airborne unit, under the provisions of last year's National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was signed into law in December 2022.

China claims Taiwan as its own, but the Communist Party in Beijing has never ruled the island since seizing power in 1949.

Comment: And, up until very recently, the US officially acknowledged Taiwan as a part of the 'One China policy'.

Taipei rejects the sovereignty claims and for decades has relied on the United States for weapons and training, as well as international support, despite Washington's decision to break off formal diplomatic relations in 1979.

Comment: The following gives an idea of the proximity to mainland China:

That U.S. service members were training Taiwan's armed forces became a years long open secret that was not officially acknowledged until 2021, when President Tsai Ing-wen said a few American instructors were on the island for occasional training programs. The NDAA for 2023, however, opened the door to more robust cooperation between the two security partners.

Taiwan's defense ministry didn't comment on the report, but said all foreign military exchanges are conducted according to an annual plan.

U.S. Defense Department spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners had no comment on specific training, but said: "I would highlight that our support for, and defense relationship with, Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People's Republic of China."

The UDN newspaper said Army Green Berets of the 1st Special Forces Group are this year permanently stationed at two bases of the 101st Amphibious Reconnaissance Battalion, a Taiwanese army special operations force.

The instructors were sent to the Penghu or Pescadores islands closer to Taiwan proper, but also to Kinmen, a group of islands visible from the port city of Xiamen in eastern China, on the Chinese side of the Taiwan Strait, the report said.

The 1st Battalion of the Pacific-oriented 1st Special Forces Group is forward deployed on the Japanese island of Okinawa. The rest are stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

According to UDN, American service members were also present at a military base in Taoyuan, in northern Taiwan, to provide specialist training on drone equipment that Taipei hopes to procure for its Airborne Special Service Company, an elite special forces unit roughly analogous to the Army's Delta Force.

The U.S. has had no official military footprint in Taiwan for over four decades. Until recently, the permanent presence of American forces on the island was considered a possible trigger for a cross-strait shooting war.

Comment: And the ailing US hegemon seems intent on provoking China, seemingly in the hope that the resulting chaos will benefit it somehow - as it's doing in the Middle East.

On paper, U.S.-Taiwan military exchanges, which have been indirectly acknowledged in the past, are managed by the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto U.S. embassy in Taipei.

"Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region," Meiners said.