National Post (Latest Edition)
AS CHINA TENSION RISES, U.S. TRAINS TAIWANESE
SPECIAL FORCES CLANDESTINELY INSTRUCTING TROOPS ON HOW TO REPEL AN INVASION
U.S. special forces have been clandestinely operating in Taiwan as tensions mount over a possible Chinese invasion, it emerged Thursday.
A group of two dozen special operations soldiers and U.S. Marines has been training members of the Taiwanese military to defend against an attack.
The troops have been there for at least a year and are instructing Taiwanese ground and maritime forces, U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal.
The Pentagon, which historically has not disclosed details about U.S. training or advising of Taiwanese forces, did not specifically comment on or confirm the deployment.
“I don’t have any comments on specific operations, engagements, or training, but I would like to highlight that our support for and defence relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” said Pentagon spokesman John Supple.
The news comes as the U.S. and China are at loggerheads over issues including Taiwan, trade disputes, human rights, the origin of the COVID pandemic and the U.S. decision to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia.
In the past week, Taiwan has reported 148 Chinese air force planes in its air defence zone, and the country’s defence chief described tensions between Taipei and Beijing as being at their worst for more than 40 years.
As tensions escalated, the CIA announced that it was creating a group to concentrate solely on gathering intelligence on China, calling it the most important threat the U.S. faces.
Meanwhile, the White House said President Joe Biden would hold a virtual meeting with Xi Jinping, the Chinese premier, before the end of the year, in an apparent attempt to calm the waters.
The U.S. training was thought to include how to defend against potential amphibious landings by the Chinese.
As the presence of U.S. special forces emerged, the Chinese foreign ministry said: “China will take all necessary steps to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
But a Pentagon spokesman said: “China has stepped up efforts to intimidate and pressure Taiwan,
CHINA HAS STEPPED UP EFFORTS TO INTIMIDATE AND PRESSURE TAIWAN.
including increasing military activities conducted in the vicinity of Taiwan, which we believe are destabilizing and increase the risk of miscalculation.”
Announcing its new China Mission Center, the CIA said it was formed “to address the global challenge posed by the People’s Republic of China that cuts across all of the agency’s mission areas.”
William Burns, the agency’s director, said: “Throughout our history, CIA has stepped up to meet whatever challenges come our way. And now, facing our toughest geopolitical test in a new era of great power rivalry, CIA will be at the forefront of this effort.”
He said the China Mission Center would “further strengthen our collective work on the most important geopolitical threat we face in the 21st century, an increasingly adversarial Chinese government.”
The CIA also announced it was recruiting more Chinese speakers.