Taiwan's President confirms presence of US military trainers on the island

Taipei, Taiwan (CNN)The leader of Taiwan, the island thrust into the center of rising tensions between the United States and China, said the threat from Beijing is growing "every day," as for the first time she confirmed the presence of American troops on Taiwanese soil.

Speaking with CNN in an exclusive interview Tuesday, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, which is located fewer than 200 kilometers (124 miles) away from China's southeastern coast, was a "beacon" of democracy that needed to be defended to uphold faith worldwide in democratic values.

"Here is this island of 23 million people trying hard every day to protect ourselves and protect our democracy and making sure that our people have the kind of freedom they deserve," she said.

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