'Secret' U.S. Troops in Taiwan 'Will Only Hasten' War, Warns China's State Media

An editorial piece Friday in the Global Times, China's state English-language newspaper, suggested that the secret presence of the U.S. military in Taiwan will lead to war breaking out more quickly between China and Taiwan.

The op-ed said that the United States had "taken a step forward to undermine, from covertly to semi-overtly, the key conditions for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chinese mainland and the US."

Global Times also alleged that the United States had semi-purposefully published the news of the soldiers in order to antagonize the Chinese government and cause China and Taiwan to move further towards armed conflict and bulk up American presence in Taiwan.

"The US wants to get on the mainland's nerves. This is a consistent tactic of Washington," the article said. "The mainland must respond to the US' new provocations to make both Washington and the island of Taiwan fully realize the severity of their collusion."

The Times said that China must let both the United States and Taiwan know that they are "playing with fire" and that the potential consequences of their action would be "unbearable to both the US and Taiwan island."

The article claimed that the United States and Taiwan were likely gearing up for a potential invasion of Taiwan by the Chinese military, and that China would be able to capture the island by force or cause the Taiwanese army to eventually surrender. It also said U.S. forces would "be the first to be eliminated."

Chinese Military by Xi Jinping photo
An op-ed by the Global Times, China's state-run English-language newspaper, stated on Friday that actions by the United States in Taiwan would lead to a war breaking out between the countries, and threatened to use force to prevent further U.S. intervention. Nicolas Asfouri/Getty

An exclusive report published by the Wall Street Journal Thursday revealed that the United States had at least two dozen U.S. service members secretly stationed in Taiwan in order to help train members of their military. This reportedly includes members of the U.S. Marine Corps as well as various special forces teams.

After the report was released, Chinese state-run media—including the Global Times—called out the actions of the United States as damaging to the two country's relations. Later Thursday, the editor-in-chief of the Times, Hu Xijin, tweeted that China's military should "launch a targeted air strike" in an effort to kill American soldiers in Taiwan.

Tensions have been on the rise in recent weeks as numerous Chinese military planes have been seen off of the coast of Taiwan, with at least 150 fighter jets being spotted in the past week. This has caused concerns with both the White House and the Pentagon that China could be preparing for a large-scale assault on the island.

The Global Times, meanwhile, as an official state-run media outlet of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), has continued to push an agenda of a Chinese takeover of Taiwan. They have been criticized in the past for promoting a number of conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation.

The newspaper made headlines during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after criticizing NBC when they did not include Taiwan and the South China Sea on a map of China, and has published a number of anti-American pieces criticizing U.S. foreign policy.

Newsweek reached out to the Global Times' editorial department for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.