Taiwan President Tsai lng-wen acknowledged on Tuesday the presence of US troops training Taiwanese soldiers on the island amid growing tensions between Taiwan and China.
Tsai said Taiwan has a “wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing their defense capability.”
Tsai also said that Taiwan needed to tailor its military to defend a small island rather than a conventional fighting force.
“We have a system that is inherited from China, which is a very different country … The way you defend a big piece of land is different from the way you protect a small island, so we have to change the traditional thinking about how a military should be structured,” Tsai told CNN.
Tsai said she recognizes the threat from the island’s increasingly powerful neighbor but said she was willing “to sit down with Chinese leader Xi for talks — if he was willing.”
“I (would) encourage him to have more dialogue with the government and people here in Taiwan, and to get a better feel of what it’s like in Taiwan … And, of course, we would do more in terms of understanding the situation in China,” Tsai said.
Early this month, Tsai responded to the growing Chinese military action saying China could not force Taiwan to follow “what China had laid out for it.”
“There should be absolutely no illusions that the Taiwanese people will bow to pressure,” Tsai said.
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