US Marines and special-operations forces have been training Taiwan’s military for at least one year, according to a report published Thursday.
Citing US officials, the Wall Street Journal said that there were around 24 US personnel and “support troops” training the ground forces of Taiwan, while the Marines were training a small naval force on small-boat training.
The report comes at a time of increased tensions between the US and China, with Taiwan being one point of contention.
China believes Taiwan is under Beijing’s control despite Taiwan voicing that it is independent.
On Thursday, the CIA announced the creation of a new center focused specifically on China. The Pentagon also created a China Task Force under new Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin earlier this year.
China has threatened to invade Taiwan for years. As recently as this week, as many as 150 Chinese fighter jets flew near Taiwan.
US President Joe Biden said that he and China’s President Xi Jinping agreed to abide by the Taiwan Agreement, which specifies the US as recognizing Beijing rather than Taiwan.
The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, which bounds the US by law, stipulates that the US will provide Taiwan with defense needs. But it also says that the US recognizing “One China” is contingent upon peaceful means determining the final status of Taiwan.