Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen confirmed that US troops are stationed on the island nation to counter China’s growing aggression in the region. 

In an interview to CNN, President Tsai told reporters that the threat posed by China’s communist government grows “every day” for Taiwan. 

“Here is this island of 23 million people trying hard every day to protect ourselves and protect our democracy and making sure that our people have the kind of freedom they deserve,” said Tsai.

“If we fail, then that means people that believe in these values would doubt whether these are values that they (should) be fighting for.”

The disclosure was the first time in over 40 years where a president officially acknowledged the presence of US troops. 

“We have a wide range of cooperation with the US aiming at increasing our defense capability,” said Tsai. 

The move could further aggravate China, which considers the democratic nation as part of its own territory. 

In recent weeks, China has conducted aerial military exercises in the region including flying nuclear-capable bombers into Taiwan’s air defence zone. 

Recently Taiwanese diplomat Taipei Economic Cultural Office (TECO) Director General Lihsin Angel Liu called on the Canadian government to offer “more support” for the country as it tries to find acceptance from the international community. 

Critics of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have accused him of being soft on China and not doing enough to make it clear that its aggression towards Taiwan is not acceptable. 

“The Liberal government has been promising a new framework for relations with China for years,” Conservative MP Garnett Genuis told True North earlier this month.

“It is clear that the Liberal government is missing in action when it comes to responding to the domestic and international challenges posed by the Chinese Communist Party.”

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