Taiwan’s defense minister confirmed a news report on Tuesday that a delegation of military officials is currently in the United States for an annual military forum.
Eight senior officials led by General Hsu Yen-pu of the Republic of China Army (ROCA) left Taipei on October 9 to attend the annual meeting and exhibition of the United States Army Association ( AUSA), which runs Monday through Wednesday in Washington, DC, according to Taiwan United Daily News (UDN).
AUSA is the largest military exhibition in North America. The events include presentations from the defense industry as well as panel discussions and seminars, its website said.
Asked about the low-key visit, Taiwan Defense Chief Chiu Kuo-cheng said it was part of a “regular exchange between the two sides” that takes place every year.
The UDN The report, which cited US-based sources, said ROCA commander Hsu and his group would also travel to Hawaii for meetings with senior US officials, including Admiral John Aquilino, head of the Indo-Command. American Pacific (USINDOPACOM) and Lieutenant General Charles Flynn, Commander of the US Army Pacific Command (USARPAC).
Meetings with U.S. Pacific leaders include year-end talks between Taiwanese and U.S. military officials, who are expected to exchange views on plans for 2022, according to the report. According to UDN, US Marines who have reportedly trained Taiwan’s special forces and amphibious units for at least a year have been deployed from USINDOPACOM.
Achieved by News week Pentagon spokesman John Supple said on Wednesday he had no comment on specific operations, engagements or training, “but I would like to stress that our support and defense relationship with Taiwan remains aligned. on the current threat posed by the People’s Republic of China [PRC]. “
He described US support for Taiwan as “strong, principled and bipartisan,” then citing the “one-China” policy he has maintained for more than four decades.
“The United States‘ defense relationship with Taiwan is guided by the Taiwan Relations Act and based on an assessment of Taiwan’s defense needs and the threat posed by the PRC,” Supple said.
The unofficial relationship between the United States and Taiwan has always had an element of security, but it is never put forward above deep cultural and economic ties. Despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations between Washington and Taipei, the United States remains Taiwan’s largest international support and the only country that regularly supplies the island with advanced defensive weapons, made possible by the provisions of the Law on relations with Taiwan in 1979.
The US commitment to assist Taiwan with its self-defense capabilities, however, does not extend to a guarantee of security. America is under no legal obligation to defend Taiwan from attack by China, despite the increasing ability of the Chinese military to seize Taiwan and cut a hole in the middle of the First Island Chain.
At a hearing in March to become USINDOPACOM commander, Aquilino told US lawmakers that the prospect of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan was “much closer to us than most realize.”
The U.S. Navy admiral told the Senate Armed Services Committee that a successful Chinese occupation of Taiwan would damage U.S. credibility in Asia, the home of U.S. Defense Treaty allies, Japan, the South Korea and the Philippines.