The U.S. is currently engaged in preparations for the evacuation of American citizens residing in Taiwan, according to a report by The Messenger, which cited three sources. These planning efforts have been ongoing for at least six months, as confirmed by a senior U.S. intelligence official who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions.
The report claimed that the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022 was specifically mentioned as a catalyst for reassessing evacuation plans.
When approached for comment, Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Martin Meiners neither confirmed nor denied the planning but expressed that there was no imminent conflict in the Taiwan Strait.
The discreet nature of the planning process is in consideration of the sensitivities of the Taiwanese government, according to one of the sources in the article. A former State Department official noted that discussing evacuation plans, even as a precautionary measure, can create speculation and unease.
According to The Messenger, an estimated 80,000 Americans resided in Taiwan as of 2019. The prospect of a large-scale evacuation would undoubtedly encounter logistical challenges due to the location and topography of the island nation, which could potentially take place amidst a hostile environment.