American soldiers reportedly will train Taiwanese soldiers in the facility in Hsinchu County for tanks to be delivered by Washington.
After the deployment of US soldiers in Taiwan was confirmed last year by President Tsai Ing-wen, new reports have suggested American troops are setting up a “training ground” on the self-ruled island.
According to the daily Taiwan News, the US soldiers have “started setting up a training ground in northwestern Taiwan's Hsinchu County, while 84 Taiwanese soldiers are to be sent to the US to undergo tank training next year.”
Taiwanese troops are also reportedly getting lessons from US soldiers on how to operate the M1A2T Abrams tank, said local media.
US military instructors have reached the island nation to train Taiwanese soldiers in maintenance, training, fortifications, simulator purchasing, and other projects including code development, it said.
Last October, Tsai confirmed for the first time the presence of the US military on the island.
She had said the troops were meant for “training purposes,” but gave no numbers.
It was in November 2020 that Taipei announced the arrival of US Marines to train Taiwanese soldiers for a "brief training period."
Exclusive training exercise
Exchanges between Washington and Taipei have increased since the Trump administration, while the Biden administration has sent several delegations to the island nation and continues to sell arms to Taiwan, triggering sharp reactions from Beijing, which considers Taiwan its “breakaway province.”
Taipei has insisted on independence since 1949.
Chinese-US relations are guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, a 1979 law, regulated by what is known as the Three Communiques, under which Washington will abide by the so-called “One China” policy, with Taiwan part of mainland China.
An official at Taiwan’s Defence Ministry said the US and Taiwanese militaries are holding an exclusive training exercise after a photo surfaced showing a Taiwanese officer in a Taiwan Army uniform taking part in training for the M1A2T tank.
Taiwan will receive two of its 108 third-generation American battle tanks in June, while 38 tanks are expected to be delivered in 2024.