WASHINGTON: The United States plans to significantly boost the number of American military personnel deployed in Taiwan to help train local forces, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday (Feb 23).
The move comes at a time of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over an alleged Chinese surveillance balloon that was shot down by a US warplane earlier this month.
The deployment of between 100 and 200 American troops to the island is to take place in the coming months, a major increase from the roughly 30 who were there a year ago, the newspaper said, citing unnamed US officials.
The US troops will train Taiwanese forces on military manoeuvres as well as on American weapons systems, the Journal said.
Beijing claims the democratic island as part of its territory to be seized one day and has ramped up military, diplomatic and economic pressure during the tenure of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen.