As concerns continue to grow over China’s threat to Taiwan, the small island nation seems to be making preparation for any impending attack.
Taiwan’s armed forces have started receiving military training from United States’ National Guard, Nikkei reported. The training began at some point before spring 2022, sources told Nikkei. However, there has not been any official announcement regarding the same.
The first official mention of the training came during a May 2022 visit by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth. At the time, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen had said the Pentagon planned to conduct the training.
Under the State Partnership Program, one U.S. state’s National Guard trains a country, and the procedure is tailored to the nation’s needs. However, this is not the case with Taiwan.
Training the island nation is “different than the SPP (State Partnership Program) since Taiwan is working with multiple states,” the source told Nikkei. “With the SPP, most countries are only working with one specific state. Taiwan has more training options than the SPP.”
The SPP includes training for infantry tactics, aviation operations, cyber defense, disaster response, counter-terrorism, and medical support.
“We don’t have a comment on specific operations, engagements or training, but I would highlight that our support for, and defense relationship with, Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China,” a Pentagon spokesperson told Nikkei. “Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”
The latest move shows that the United States is concerned about the potential threat Taiwan has from China. Measures taken by both nations increased as China’s military ramped up its activity directed at Taiwan.
On Friday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said it tracked 31 Chinese military aircraft and four naval vessels around the country. Of all the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft, 12 were monitored in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ), including six Shenyang J-11 fighter jets, three Shenyang J-16 fighter jets, two Chengdu J-10 jet fighters, and one BZK-007 reconnaissance drone.
The MND said these PLA aircraft either crossed the Taiwan Strait median line or entered the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ. In the other recent interceptions, no PLA aircraft crossed the Taiwan Strait median line.