A report that a group of Taiwanese marines have been sent on a one-month training program in Guam as part of a Taiwan-US defense cooperation and exchange program is correct, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday.
The program is one of a number of “long-standing” bilateral exchange projects between Taipei and Washington, Chiu said, without elaborating.
Chiu made the comments on the sidelines of a hearing at the legisature in Taipei when asked by reporters to comment on a report about the program in the Chinese-language Apple Daily.
The Marine Corps has sent a platoon of 40 marines for month-long amphibious landing training at the US military base in Guam to enhance their combat capabilities, the report said.
Taiwanese and US marines would also undergo training for joint operations to learn the latest US Marine Corps tactics, it added.
Chiu’s comments came after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Thursday last week confirmed for the first time the presence of US troops in Taiwan helping to train the military to counter threats posed by China.
Taiwan has “a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability,” Tsai told CNN.
She did not specify how many US service personnel were in Taiwan, saying only that the number was “not as many as people thought.”
International media last year reported that the US had been rotating a small number of US Marines and Special Operations Forces to train the Taiwanese military amid rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait.
At that time Chiu denied that US troops had been deployed to Taiwan, describing US military personnel as being in Taiwan for military training “exchanges” with their Taiwanese counterparts.
China said that it had long been aware that US military personnel regularly visited Taiwan, but accused Tsai of provocation by making such visits public.
Chiu yesterday reiterated his stance that US military trainers and consultants were in Taiwan only on short-term assignments and have not been posted or deployed.
‘HIDDEN GEM’: The city earned plaudits for its low crime rate, world-class healthcare system, cheap cost of living and easy public transportation Taipei has been named the 10th best city in the world for quality of living in an annual survey by the editors of Monocle, a UK-based global affairs and lifestyle magazine. The survey, which is to be published in the magazine’s July/August issue, selected the world’s top 25 cities based on factors including cost of living, retail, hospitality, culture and access to green spaces, as well as feedback from Monocle correspondents. Taipei’s 10th place finish was one place down from a year earlier. The survey ranked Copenhagen as the world’s best city, with Zurich, Lisbon, Helsinki and Stockholm rounding out the top five.
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
NO COMORBIDITIES: The girl died of encephalitis, the sixth COVID-19-related death of the disease this year and 19th death of a child from the virus, the center said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported 52,213 new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases and 171 deaths from the virus, including a four-year-old girl, who had been diagnosed with encephalitis, and a 19-year-old man, who had underlying health conditions. “The caseloads are usually higher on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but they [yesterday] fell 7.3 percent from the day before,” Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said. Chuang, who is the CECC’s spokesman, said that most cities and counties reported a drop in new cases, and the CECC expects fewer than 50,000 new cases today. The center said that 150 of
LIMIT: The CECC has capped the number of weekly arrivals to 25,000, which critics said has limited the number of available flights and caused ticket prices to soar The government is not likely to raise the cap on the number of inbound travelers before the end of this month, despite the apparent effect on the number of inbound flights, Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Wednesday last week eased quarantine rules for inbound travelers, who must undergo three days of home quarantine upon arrival and spend another four days in self-initiated disease prevention. It also capped the number of inbound travelers to 25,000 per week. The weekly limit has drawn criticism that it has limited the number of flights