Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng confirmed but tried to downplay news that 40 Taiwanese marines are currently training with U.S. troops in Guam. Chiu said exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. have been well established for many years; there is no need to speculate.
Taiwan's Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng acknowledged on Tuesday, Nov. 2 that Taiwan's Marine Corps has sent 40 soldiers to a newly built U.S. military base in Guam for a month of joint amphibious exercise training termed as"the Roars of the Marine." Chiu said Taiwan-U.S. interactions have always been frequent for many years. He said people should not over-speculate about what's going on.
Chiu Kuo-cheng, Minister of National Defense: “We have been cooperating and have exchanges with the U.S. for a long time. Exchanges on different levels are quite common.”
In response to Taiwan's Army Command Headquarter's plan to invest a total of NT$1.44 million in a span of 4 years starting Oct. of 2021 in renting a new office space in a U.S. Army base, Chiu said this has been the way it is for a long time.
Chiu Kuo-cheng, Minister of National Defense: “We have much purchasing personnel who are based in the U.S. We have been renting military office spaces for many years. They need to do their work; it's not something temporary.”
President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN during a recent interview that a small number of U.S. forces are stationed in Taiwan to train with Taiwanese soldiers, making her the first leader of Taiwan to acknowledge the presence of U.S. troops on the island. Chinese foreign ministry said such a move was provocative. Chiu responded that the U.S. is only assisting in training and they are on a rotational basis. Chiu said they are not based in Taiwan. Meanwhile, the Ocean Affairs Council Minister Lee Chung-wei said the council will replace the old radar system on the Pratas Island to strengthen its maritime reconnaissance and surveillance capabilities to protect against military threats from China.
Lee Chung-wei, Minister of Ocean Affairs Council: “It's laid out in the budget book. We want to get a better radar system. We are following through with our plans.”
In response to whether coast guard officers will be stationed on the island, Lee said they will react accordingly to changes in the situation.