A major US newspaper has reported that a US special-operations unit and a contingent of US Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan for at least a year to train military forces there.
The Wall Street Journal reported the story on Thursday, citing unnamed US officials.
The paper quoted the officials as saying that about two dozen members of US special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan's ground forces, while the US Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training.
The Wall Street Journal said the deployment is a sign of concern within the Pentagon over Taiwan's tactical capabilities in light of China's yearslong military buildup and recent threatening moves against Taiwan.
A US Defense Department official told NHK that the US is continuing its assistance for Taiwan and defense relations in a bid to counter China's recent threatening activities. But the official declined to elaborate.