Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has announced that the US is considering cooperation between its National Guard and Taiwan’s armed forces in the face of rising pressure from China.
The US is reportedly the “most important” international ally and arms supplier of Taipei, according to China, despite having no formal diplomatic ties.
“As a result, the US Department of Defence is now proactively planning cooperation between the US National Guard and Taiwan’s defence forces,” she said.
Tsai provided no specific details regarding the plan, but she said the island nation is looking forward to “closer and deeper” Taiwan-US cooperation, particularly on regional security matters.
According to Reuters, several Taiwanese media outlets have reported that the country could collaborate with Hawaii’s National Guard on the new initiative.
Retired US Navy rear admiral Mark Montgomery agreed with the reports, saying that Hawaii’s National Guard would be a good partner for Taiwan due to its geography status as host of the Indo-Pacific Command.
Present US-Taiwan Partnership
The US is one of Taiwan’s strongest allies, with President Joe Biden announcing that his country is prepared to defend Taipei militarily if China launches an invasion.
Taiwan and China’s relations have been tense for many years due to Beijing’s claim that Taipei is part of its territory.
In April, the US government approved $95 million in training and equipment to support Taiwan’s Patriot Air Defense System and bolster its defense capabilities.
Taiwan has also welcomed a second US arms sale of up to $100 million to support Taipei’s air and missile defense systems amid China’s continued incursions of warplanes into the island’s air defense zone.
“This is the second arms sale to Taiwan since President Joe Biden took office and the first time this year,” Taiwan’s presidential spokesman Xavier Chang said. “It … reflects the rock-solid partnership between Taiwan and the US.”