A US special-operations unit and small division of marines have been drilling Taiwan soldiers ahead of anticipated conflict with China, US officials told the Wall Street journal.
Around 24 US military personnel have provided on-the-ground coaching for foot soldiers and local maritime forces for at least 12 months, the officials said.
China has for decades been building an economy and military that rivals the United States.
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The US deployment of troops to Taiwan indicates there is some concern over Taiwan’s ability to mount an effective military defence.
Nearly 150 flights by Chinese military aircraft including J-16 fighters, H-6 bombers and nuclear-capable carriers have passed close to Taiwan in the past week.
Beijing ordered 80 fighter jets to simulate an attack over Taiwan’s southern airspace last weekend and has since continued the unprecedented incursions.
China’s show of military might comes after President Xi Jinping claimed in July any attempt to consolidate Taiwan’s independence would be met with “resolute action”.
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“Resolving the Taiwan question and realising China’s complete reunification is a historic mission and an unshakable commitment of the Communist Party of China,” he said.
Senior US officials have warned China will use force to bring Taiwan under its rule within the next six years with some suggesting for an earlier invasion date.
China has vowed to peacefully unite with Taiwan under the “one country, two systems” principle but the recent crushing of dissent in Hong Kong has raised concerns.
While the US does not have formal ties with Taiwan it has engaged in billion-dollar arms sales over the past decade but has refused to confirm whether it would aid the country in the face of attack.
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Under the Trump administration the US sold rocket launchers, sensors and artillery to Taiwan in an arms deal worth $1.8 billion.
On Wednesday Taiwan Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng warned China “would be able to launch a full-scale attack on Taiwan with minimal losses by 2025.”
White House staff and Pentagon officials have refused to comment on the deployment of American soldiers to Taipei – the capital of Taiwan. 
But China’s Foreign Ministry said “China will take all necessary step to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity” in a statement published by the Wall Street Journal.
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Relations between the US and China have been strained over trade, the coronavirus pandemic, human rights disputes and regional security in the South China Sea. 
An agreement brokered between China and the US in 1979 saw Washington cut official ties with Taiwan, end a defence pact and withdraw forces from the island.
The Trump and Biden administration have renewed some contact with Taiwan but the deployment of troops to the island could be seen as a provocative move by China.

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