The South China Morning Post, citing a report by the country’s semi-official Central News Agency, said Taiwan may send the largest number of troops ever to the United States for training this year.
A joint synthetic battalion of at least 500 soldiers is reportedly headed to the United States in the second half of this year. The battalion will mainly consist of the Army’s 333rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade and 542nd Armored Brigade, the report added.
“This marks the first time a battalion-sized unit, usually composed of about 500 soldiers, will travel to the United States for training, rather than a platoon (25-60 soldiers) or company (80-150 soldiers) as in the past,” the report said. say.
The training program between the two countries is reportedly set to expand in the coming months. The latest plan to send hundreds of Taiwanese troops to the United States for training is seen as a countermeasure to China’s growing military presence in the region.
The United States has been committed to helping Taiwan in the face of China’s growing military buildup and aggressive maneuvers. China has been sending planes near Taiwan, a situation that only intensified after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island.
However, Taiwan’s defense department has yet to comment on the report. The country’s army command reportedly said that “all military exchanges with foreign militaries are proceeding as planned.”
“Trump signed several Taiwan-friendly bills, including the Taiwan Travel Act, which promotes exchanges at all levels,” said the source, who asked not to be named.
“The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 specifically encourages exchanges between defense officials and military officers for training and coordination purposes, as well as exchanges among senior military leaders.”
The source added that this is nothing new, as Taiwan has earlier sent soldiers to the US for training and vice versa. However, they revealed that this was done in a confidential manner.
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