Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The US deployment brings the total number of US military personnel stationed in Taiwan to about 4,500
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has warned that the threat from China is increasing every day, and confirmed the presence of US military trainers in Taiwan.
In a speech to mark the National Day, she said: “The challenge from the People’s Republic of China is increasing every day, so we need to raise our defence capabilities to match its increasing confidence and military might.”
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday visited Taipei as part of his first overseas trip as president.
He acknowledged a request from Taiwan for a visit by US military trainers.
“I didn’t think they asked for the training,” he said.
“I mean, we’ve been helping them for 50 years. We’ve been helping them with a lot of things, but not a training facility, which is funny.”
Image copyright AFP Image caption Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to defend national sovereignty
His daughter, Ivanka Trump, tweeted an apparent denial, saying the request was “non-existent.”
Mr Tsai said a US missile defence system has started arriving in Taipei as a part of “increased cooperation” to defend against Chinese missiles.
“Chinese missiles have started to target every town in Taiwan,” she said.
“Through our Taiwan Affairs Office, we hope this system can be properly used for military tasks for our country.”
China and Taiwan are both covered by a “One China” policy, which does not allow the self-governing island to be ruled by either Beijing or Taipei.
China has threatened to invade Taiwan as part of a “one China” policy.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump acknowledged the possibility of having a summit with the Taiwanese President Xi Jinping, which Taipei has long said they want to hold.
Ms Tsai added that Japan and the US, as well as China and Taiwan, have been discussing the possible deployment of US missile defence to the island.