Amid rising concerns over China escalating military threat, Joe Biden’s Defense Department is reportedly planning on deploying 100-200 troops to Taiwan for training, more than quadrupling the current number of American service members.

Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Keith Avinger, from Chino, Calif., and Boatswain’s Mate Seaman Juan Silva, from Defiance, Ohio, operate the helm of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59) as it transits the Taiwan Strait, June 4. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Lynch)

The most recent data from the Defense Department shows that 23 active-duty U.S. troops, mostly Marines, were stationed in Taiwan in September.

The Wall Street Journal described the planned troop increase in the next several months as the largest deployment of American forces in Taiwan in decades. In addition, the more significant force will expand a training program that has included the National Guard, Special Ops, and U.S. Marines in the past. as the U.S. works to provide Taipei with the capabilities it needs to defend itself without provoking Beijing.

The troops will serve to expand a secretive program that is training Taiwanese forces on U.S. weapons systems and military maneuvers, with an eye toward defending against an attack from China, officials said.

A contingent of Taiwanese forces is reportedly also being trained by the Michigan National Guard. They have trained at northern Michigan’s Camp Grayling during annual exercises with multiple countries, people familiar with the training told the Journal.

Taiwan split from China in 1949 after a civil war. Taiwan has increasingly tried to exert its independence from China’s ruling communist party and align itself with more democratic countries, which has resulted in the Beijing flexing its military might. Mainland China does not recognize Taiwan’s independence and wants it to unite with the mainland. The only connection between the two nations is billions of dollars in trade and investment.

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“One of the difficult things to determine is what really is objectionable to China,” one of the U.S. officials told The Wall Street Journal about the planned troop deployment. “We don’t think at the levels that we’re engaged in and are likely to remain engaged in the near future that we are anywhere close to a tipping point for China, but that’s a question that is constantly being evaluated and looked at specifically with every decision involving support to Taiwan.”

According to Fox News, beyond training in Taiwan, a contingent of the Taiwanese military will be trained by the Michigan National Guard. According to people familiar with the training, Camp Grayling in northern Michigan will include training as part of more extensive exercises on U.S. soil.

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Michigan National Guard photo by Sgt. 1st Class Jim Downen

Will China see the new Taiwan deployment as a provocation? 

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro warned on Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., that China is outpacing the United States in producing warships and has a “significant advantage” in that regard. As a result, Del Toro remarked that American sea supremacy was jeopardized.

“It is no secret that the People’s Republic of China seeks to upend our dominance on the oceans across the globe, The People’s Liberation Army Navy has added over 100 combatants to its fleet – a naval buildup that is a key component of its increasingly aggressive military posture globally.

China’s disregard for the rules-based international order is particularly troubling in the maritime domain, from the Taiwan Straits to the high seas.

The values espoused by the Chinese Communist Party are incompatible with individual liberty, with democracy, and with respect for human rights. This is about the future of humanity and of our planet.”

Twitter user @amuse tweeted:
The impact of Biden’s disastrous and deadly surrender in Afghanistan is still being felt. Biden is having to deploy more troops than were in Afghanistan to Poland and Taiwan in an attempt to convince our enemies we are committed to our allies. Arguably

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