Taiwan officially announced on Monday, Nov. 9, the arrival of a group of U.S. Marines, who are already participating in military exercises along with the Taiwanese army. It is the first time that this type of joint operation between the two countries has been openly declared in more than 40 years. 

According to Newsweek, U.S. Marines officially began a training operation in Taiwan, seeking to help prepare and train Taiwanese military personnel for combat.

The Taiwanese navy confirmed the facts, stating that these are amphibious training exercises led by a group of Marine Raiders recently arrived from the United States. While the activities were described as “routine exercises,” it was the first public recognition of U.S. troops in Taiwan in more than 40 years.

In an official statement on its website, the Taiwanese navy noted, “In order to maintain regional peace and stability, routine security cooperation, and exchanges between the Taiwanese and U.S. militaries are proceeding as usual,” the Taiwanese navy said in a statement on its website.

The move comes at a time of concern about the prospect of a future invasion of Taiwan by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), given the intensified public pressure campaign conducted by the CCP in the small island nation.

Responding to the threats and pressures imposed by the Party, the Trump administration approved the sale of U.S. missile systems, rockets, and fighter jet support technology to Taiwan, as reported by the Free Beacon in October. 

As it turned out, the CCP has since raised its anti-Taiwan rhetoric to unprecedented levels. Chinese media editorials regularly hint at armed conflict, and recent propaganda even simulates Chinese attacks on Taiwan.

This was a turbulent year in relations between Taiwan and the CCP, with the new, undemocratic National Security Law imposed on Hong Kong being the focus of criticism from the international community. 

But recently a new concern has emerged that the legislation could be the perfect link for the CCP to intervene in Taiwan. With the passage of the law, the CCP took a major step in preparing for war with the neighboring island’s democracy.

The CCP openly claims that Taiwan is part of China and never abandoned the threat of using state violence to take over the island. General Secretary Xi Jinping himself, in a speech published by various media in early 2019, declared that he would take “all necessary measures” to absorb the island.

According to the Washington Post, there has been much speculation that the CCP wants Xi to resolve “the Taiwan question” sometime around July next year. Li Su, the chairman of China’s Modern think tank forum and an ardent supporter and influential scholar of the CCP, said that the enactment of the security law basically confirmed that theory. “Sometime around 2021 we will definitely liberate Taiwan,” Li Su said.