U.S. Republican Sen. John Cornyn has deleted a tweet in which he said wrongly that the United States currently has 30,000 troops stationed in Chinese-claimed Taiwan, a claim that spurred Chinese media to call him a "dotard."

Cornyn included the statistic late on Monday in a tweet about the numbers of U.S. troops based around the world "today," including in Afghanistan before the final withdrawal of U.S. forces from that country, which is now under Taliban control.

The U.S. military did have forces in Taiwan before the United States formally established ties with communist China in 1979. Those troops were removed over time leading up to that, including under diplomatic agreements with Beijing.