As tensions with Beijing continue to rise, it is expected that the United States will soon raise the number of troops stationed in Taiwan by a factor of four.
An increase from 30
According to a Wall Street Journal report published on Thursday, the Pentagon plans to send 100 to 200 soldiers to the self-ruled island, up from approximately 30 troops a year ago.
Marines and members of special forces have already been dispatched to Taiwan, however the exact number of such people has varied greatly throughout the years.
Yet, this expansion would be the largest increase in the number of American troops stationed on the ground in Taiwan in decades.
Taiwan’s military is being educated by the US military to better protect itself against China, which claims Taiwan as its own.
During an appearance on Fox & Friends on Thursday, Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah, called it a “big move,” but he also stressed that the overall number of troops would be small.
In addition, members of the armed forces of Taiwan are undergoing training at Camp Grayling, which is located in the upper area of Michigan and is managed by the Michigan National Guard.
The measures came only a few weeks after an Air Force general projected that the US would be at war with China by 2025, and just a day after the Secretary of the Navy warned that China’s fleet was now larger than the US fleet.
The US is increasing the number of troops in Taiwan in an apparent move to bolster a training program for Taiwan’s military. China sees the US troop deployment to Taiwan as an existential threat.— Highlights (@highlightsnews1) February 24, 2023
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According to Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, China’s navy has added over 100 warships to its fleet, a naval buildup is a critical component of China’s more assertive military posture abroad.
Ships that will be deployed
According to Del Toro, China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy presently has approximately 340 ships in its fleet. The US Navy claims to have “more than 280 ships available for deployment.”
While the exact figure is unknown, it is less than 300.
According to Del Toro, China intends to field a fleet of 440 ships by 2030, which is a big leap ahead of the Pentagon’s stated goal of 350 manned ships by 2045.
On the other hand, he noted that many Americans are ignorant that China “consistently” attempts to undermine the maritime sovereignty and economic stability of other nations, including allies and trading partners in the South China Sea and elsewhere.
The South China Sea is a large area of ocean that China claims as its own, despite the fact that this claim is not recognized by international law. China has gotten far more assertive in this region in recent years.
According to CNN, Del Toro noted that China’s shipbuilding capability greatly outnumbers that of the US.
With 11 aircraft carriers versus China’s three, the United States enjoys a huge advantage. According to sources, China reportedly failed to train enough shipborne fighter jet pilots to crew its carriers adequately.
According to experts, in full-fledged naval combat, the larger fleet almost always has the decisive advantage.