On Wednesday, the Pentagon denied reports that said a special operations unit of the US Marines was training with forces in Taiwan. The denial came after Taiwan publicly acknowledged the presence of US troops on the island for the first time in decades.
Taiwanese media reported that US Marine Raiders were on the island to train Taiwan’s military for a four-week exercise and cited a statement from Taipei’s defense ministry. But Pentagon spokesman John Supple called the reports “inaccurate” in comments to Stars and Stripes. “The United States remains committed to our One-China Policy,” Supple said.
The “One-China Policy” refers to the official position Washington took in 1979 when it severed diplomatic relations with Taipei and formally recognized Beijing. Since then, the US has supplied the island with military support through arms sales and military training, although neither side publicly acknowledges the exercises.
“The United States will continue to make available to Taiwan such defense articles and defense services in such quantity as may be necessary to enable Taiwan to maintain sufficient self-defense capabilities,” Supple said.
The Trump administration continues the tradition of arming Taiwan and recently advanced multiple weapons packages bound for Taipei. One of the deals moved forward in October includes cruise-missiles and truck-based rocket launchers capable of reaching the coast of mainland China. It is the first time since the diplomatic shift that the US is providing Taiwan with meaningful offensive weapons systems.