Both the U.S. and Taiwan Defense Ministries deny that U.S. forces are assisting in training in Taiwan

After the U.S. Defense Department denied media reports that U.S. Marines were assisting in training in Taiwan, Taiwan’s Defense Ministry also said Thursday (Nov. 12) that the reports were “factually incorrect”.

Taiwanese media had reported on Monday that the Taiwanese naval command had admitted that U.S. Navy commandos were training Taiwanese Marines in Taiwan for infiltration operations with assault boats and speedboats, which would be the first public acknowledgement of U.S. training activities with Marines in Taiwan since 1979.

But that report was refuted by the U.S. Department of Defense on Tuesday.

“Reports of U.S. Marines in Taiwan are inaccurate,” Pentagon spokesman John Supple told Stars and Stripes and Marine Corps Times in an emailed statement, “and the United States remains committed to our efforts based on the three joint communiques, the Joint Communiqués with the Taiwan Relations Act and the ‘One China Policy’ of the ‘Six Guarantees’.”

Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense also denied the reports on Thursday.

Taipei media reported that Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said Thursday that Taiwan and the U.S. maintain normal facilitation of various military exchanges based on their relationship as regional security partners, and that “the so-called report that the U.S. Marine Corps is assisting the Marine Corps military training at Camp Zuo this week” is factually incorrect.

During the Trump administration, U.S.-Taiwan relations have been significantly enhanced. The U.S. has recently approved several major arms sales to Taiwan, including several weapons that could be considered offensive in nature, prompting strong protests from Beijing. Beijing’s military aircraft have also recently increased the frequency with which they fly over the centerline of the Taiwan Sea, increasing the military threat to Taiwan.