The report came as President Tsai Ing-wen said on Friday that Taiwan will “do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life”. “Taiwan does not seek military confrontation,” she told a security forum in Taipei. “It hopes for a peaceful, stable, predictable and mutually beneficial coexistence with its neighbours. But Taiwan will also do whatever it takes to defend its freedom and democratic way of life.”
US troops have not been permanently based on the island since 1979, when Washington established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. A Pentagon spokesman, John Supple, would not comment directly on the report, but noted that “our support for and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned against the current threat” from China.