Taiwan's president confirm dozens of US troops ARE on the island and training the military as she warns threat from China

Taiwan's president has revealed for the first time that American troops are training the Taiwanese military on the island of Taiwan, only days after President Joe Biden publicly stated that if the country was attacked by China, he would defend it.

President Tsai Ing-wen revealed how US troops were stationed on Taiwan's self-governing island, saying that the two countries had a "broad range of cooperation aimed at improving our defense capability."

The training mission, which includes a special-operations unit and a Marine component, is thought to have been in place for at least a year.

The Pentagon kept a substantial troop presence in Taiwan for decades, but the American Taiwan Defense Command was disbanded in 1979 when the US established formal diplomatic relations with China. Taiwan's unofficial contacts with the United States were maintained.

Despite the fact that there are only a few hundred troops on the island, the symbolic gesture is significant because it symbolizes that American presidential administrations will defend a democratic Taiwan and stand up to Chinese aggression.

Ing-wen's statement is the first time the country has officially confirmed their presence.

Tsai said in the interview that she has "confidence" in the US to defend the island against a Chinese attack, as Beijing and Washington trade barbs about Taipei's standing on the world stage.

Tsai made the remarks during a CNN interview after Vice President Biden chastised Beijing for its actions near Taiwan at a virtual East Asia summit attended by China's leader.

Last week, Biden said on a televised conference that the US was prepared to defend Taiwan against any Chinese invasion.

Those comments were quickly walked back by the White House amid warnings from Beijing, continuing a strategy of ambiguity on whether it would intervene militarily if China attacked.

China considers Taiwan, where nationalist forces fled in 1949 after losing a civil war to the communists, to be a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary.

During the CNN interview, when asked if she was confident that the United States would help defend Taiwan if necessary against China, Tsai replied: 'I do have faith.'

She highlighted the 'wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability,' including the US military training of Taiwanese forces. 

There are 32 members of the US military currently in Taiwan.

China is regularly setting records by flying numerous warplane flights near the island.

Tsai told CNN that despite China's aggressive posturing, she is willing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in order to 'reduce misunderstanding' and address the differences in their political systems.

'We can sit down and talk about our differences, and try to make arrangements so that we will be able to co-exist peacefully,' she said.

At the East Asia summit, attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Biden said the United States was 'deeply concerned by China's coercive and proactive actions... across the Taiwan Strait.'

Such actions 'threaten regional peace and stability,' Biden told the closed-door session.

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