US Delegation Promises Taiwan’s Ordered Weapons Will Arrive Soon

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A bipartisan group of congressional representatives has taken steps to calm worries in Taiwan regarding delays in the delivery of U.S. weapons that the island has ordered.

“Progress is being made on those weapons systems,” House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) informed reporters on Monday in Taipei, Taiwan. “I wish they were arriving faster, but they are on their way.”

McCaul noted that Taiwan’s urgency for these weapons was highlighted last week when China, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory, encircled the island in what its People’s Liberation Army termed “punishment” military exercises. McCaul had made a similar assurance during a visit to Taiwan the previous year.

China’s comprehensive military exercises, including its navy, army, air force, and rocket force, coincided with the swearing-in of Taiwan’s new president, Lai Ching-te. During his inauguration speech last week, Lai urged China to “acknowledge the reality” of Taiwan’s “existence.”

Speaking through a translator, Lai greeted the delegation as an indication of America’s “strong support for the new government, as well as the people of Taiwan,” promising to “enhance national defense capabilities and demonstrate to the world the resolve of the Taiwanese people to protect their homeland.” In the short term, these weapons are necessary for deterrence, as Chinese President Xi Jinping has commanded the PLA to be ready to reunify Taiwan with mainland China by 2027.

Taiwan has faced delays in receiving weapons like Stinger anti-aircraft missiles over the past two years, as suppliers have focused on Ukraine amidst its conflict with Russia.

In addition to McCaul, the delegation included Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY), Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), Young Kim (R-CA), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), and Joe Wilson (R-SC).

The U.S. does not maintain an official diplomatic relationship with Taiwan, but is legally required to assist the island in self-defense, a stance that has drawn complaints from China over the delegation’s five-day visit.

“China firmly opposes military ties between the U.S. and Taiwan, opposes arming Taiwan, and urges relevant U.S. lawmakers to stop playing the Taiwan card,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning stated on Monday in Beijing.

China imposed sanctions on McCaul following his visit to Taiwan last April.

Naomi Lim
Naomi Lim
White House Reporter.

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