Former US serviceman reveals US troops in Okinawa 'there to protect Taiwan'

The former US Navy serviceman was replying to a TIME magazine Facebook post, Taiwan media took notice

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following Xi Jinping’s Jan. 2 speech addressing relations between China and Taiwan, many western media outlets predictably focused on the General Secretary’s threat of using force to take over Taiwan.

TIME Magazine published such an article entitled “Xi Jinping Says Taiwan Unification with China is inevitable,” to which one Facebook (FB) commentator provided a provocative response.

A man with the FB user name Justin Langton responded to TIME magazine’s FB post with the following.

Taiwanese media, notably Apple Daily, quickly took notice, with the headline “Xi Jinping’s debacle: former U.S. serviceman in Okinawa exposes U.S. troops ready to defend Taiwan.” (習近平崩潰, 前沖繩美軍爆料:有在協防台灣).

Some commentators questioned if Langton should have divulged the information speculating it may have been classified, while many overly zealous Chinese commentators began insulting Langton, the U.S. military and the Trump administration. Many also questioned the willingness of the U.S. to intervene in the defense of Taiwan.

Langton has an online resume that says he was enlisted in the U.S. Navy from September 2005 to March 2009, and worked in the branch's aerographic research department. It says he handled classified material on a daily basis, and received commendation letters from the military.

Of course, from the perspective of the Pentagon, the U.S. presence in Okinawa, and throughout Asia, serves different strategic purposes depending on a given scenario, and the shifting political and security conditions of the Indo-Pacific region.

However, if the Facebook user Langton is stating the truth according to his experience, the U.S. military may be more committed and willing to defend Taiwan than many modern pundits and political analysts have speculated in recent years.

As for "not caring about Korea," Langton likely intends to state that the security of Korea is the primary responsibility of the military bases on the Korean Peninsula.