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Bolton: US Should Station Troops in Taiwan

Bolton: US Should Station Troops in Taiwan
folder_openUnited States access_timeone month ago
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By Staff, Agencies 

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton urged Taiwan to ramp up its military cooperation with the US and start hosting American troops on its soil as it did before the 1979 switch of diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

“Both the US and Taiwan should boost military spending on Taiwan’s defense,” Bolton said, adding that “The formal stationing of American troops could be part of the solution to the threat from China.”

The US maintained a military presence on Taiwan between 1950 and 1979, with as many as 19,000 troops deployed on the island during the period. This changed with the Nixon-era rapprochement with Beijing, which culminated in Washington’s change of diplomatic recognition of China to the mainland under Jimmy Carter.

However, the US kept informal diplomatic, trade and military relations with Taipei, including by keeping some military personnel as trainers and advisors, as well as guards at the American Institute in Taiwan, the de facto US embassy. 

Bolton, who is seen as one of America’s most hawkish politicians, has long advocated beefing up the number of American troops in Taiwan and taking other steps toward what he describes as deterring an aggressive China. According to Foreign Policy magazine, he managed to push through a troop surge in Taiwan when he was advising the Trump administration. This policy was continued by President Joe Biden.