In an interview with CNN on Wednesday, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed with the network that American troops were on the ground in Taiwan to help Taiwan’s military prepare for a possible military invasion from China.
The Taiwanese leader warned that China’s threat to the island nation is “increasing every day.”
Tsai said that the relationship between the two countries had severely deteriorated after the last several years, as Taiwan’s sovereignty does not align with China’s vision for the region. Under Xi Jinping, China has adopted an aggressive stance towards its rival through its One China policy.
Speaking to CNN, Tsai said that the U.S. troops were present in Taiwan to increase its “defence capability,” adding that she has faith that the United States would come to Taiwan’s defence in the event of an invasion by Communist China because of the “long-term relationship we have with the U.S. and also the support of the people of the U.S., as well as Congress.”
“The administration has been very helpful,” she said.
A transcript of a portion of the conversation between CNN correspondent Will Ripley and President Tsai went as follows:
RIPLEY: The mainland’s massive military, two million strong more powerful than ever. China flew 150 war planes near Taiwan in just five days this month. This democracy of more than 23 million governs separately from the mainland for more than 70 years since the end of China’s Civil War, still seen as a breakaway province in the eyes of Beijing’s Communist rulers who have never controlled the island. China has pressured most of the world to sever formal diplomatic ties with Taipei. Chinese President Xi Jinping says reunification is only a matter of time. Are you interested in speaking with President Xi? Would you like to have more communication with him?
TSAI: Well, more communication would be helpful so that we would reduce misunderstanding given our differences, differences in terms of our political systems. We can sit down and talk about our differences and try to make arrangement so that we’ll be able to coexist peacefully.
RIPLEY: Your predecessor, as you know, did meet with President Xi. Why do you think that things — the communication has really gone south since 2016?
TSAI: Well, I think the situation has changed a lot and China’s plan towards the region is very different.
RIPLEY: Taiwan’s defence minister says China could launch a full-scale war by 2025. He says military tensions are the worst in more than 40 years.
TSAI: We have to expedite our military reform so that we have the ability to defend ourselves. And given the size of Taiwan compared to the size of the PRC, developing asymmetric capability is the key for us.
As previously reported by Rebel News, the Taiwanese president warned that China’s repeated incursions into its airspace “has seriously affected both our national security and aviation safety.”
The leader said she would remain steadfast in the face of China’s aggression.