The US effort to aid Taiwan faces a new hurdle as a result of the conflict in Eastern Europe between Russia and Ukraine. The US claims in Congress that it will not be able to send arms supplies to Taiwan at a total cost of around $19 billion since it is unclear when the war in Europe will conclude. And as the American “Wall Street Journal” reported today (Sunday), there is grave anxiety about Taiwan’s readiness for the potential of a Chinese invasion. This comes after the United States has already invested massive sums of money in Ukraine since the Russian invasion started in February.
Surface-to-air missiles and anti-tank missiles are included in the shipment of weapons to Taiwan, which originally had a value of 14 billion dollars but has lately climbed to 18.7 billion after orders since 2015. Congress sources claim that the weapons are a component of the American plan to arm Taiwan in a way that would make an invasion by China more expensive. According to US military officials, Beijing could be prepared to “reunite” with Taiwan as early as 2026. Although representatives on the island have previously expressed worries about the delays, the Taiwanese government has failed to comment on the arms purchase. According to General Wang Xin-long, the Ministry of National Defense’s deputy minister of armaments, Taiwan “wants to hope that the American weapons would be delivered as scheduled.”
While the State Department and the Pentagon withheld information regarding the cargo and the weapons it would include, Congress issued a warning about the delivery delays for the Stinger missiles and self-propelled weapons. Another congressional source claimed that “the diverting of the existing stocks of weapons and ammunition to Ukraine, and the supply chain issues related to the epidemic, worsened the delay in the delivery of the weapons, which had already been approved for sale to Taiwan, and undermined the island’s readiness for conflict.” According to Sabrina Singh, a Pentagon spokesperson, “we continue to work assiduously to give Taiwan with capabilities in the quickest manner feasible, so that it can protect itself.
Senior executives from “Lockheed Martin” and “Boeing” also claimed that they had trouble meeting demand even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which boosted it. They claim that “the conflict, even if it is not the primary cause of the delay, is nonetheless a significant factor.” In parallel, Doug Bush, a military procurement official for the US Army, stated that “the situation in Ukraine influences the prioritization in the short term, even while the delay cannot be tied to the war”
Michael McCall, a representative from Texas’ 10th congressional district, hastily announced that he will collaborate with the House’s Armed Services Committee to solve “the underlying flaws in the business that contribute to the delays.” He claimed, “We have delays of more than three years in certain areas in sales to the foreign forces, which I signed in my capacity and have not yet been delivered, and they include Taiwan. It would have been much better to provide the weaponry before the invasion, as we saw in Ukraine. Since 2009, the US has agreed to sell Taiwan $30 billion worth of weaponry, with the most recent contract valued at $18 billion, according to the Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman.