Global Times recently reported that the spokesperson of the Chinese Ministry of Defense, Wu Qian, commented at a press conference that the idea that the Taiwanese military could rent Taiping Island to the U.S. military was a very dangerous one. The comment was based on some media reports indicating such a possibility. Taiping Island is the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Taiwan currently controls the island. However, China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam all have claimed sovereignty. Earlier reports suggested that some Taiwanese military think-tank provided the idea. The rental to the U.S. military would be under the name of humanitarian rescue missions. Wu Qian said the Chinese government is strongly against this idea and has the determination as well as the capability to defend China’s sovereignty. Taiping Island is the size of 70 soccer fields and is 860 nautical miles from Southern Taiwan. Currently Taiwan has around 200 troops guarding the island. The Taiwanese government later clarified that there was no such official plan.
Source: Global Times, June 28, 2018