Final Up to date: Could 08, 2023, 17:40 IST
Taiwan is anticipating a fast-tracked $500 million weapons package deal from Washington this yr to make up for delays in arms procurements, the island’s defence minister stated on Monday.
The self-ruled, democratic island lives beneath fixed risk of an invasion by China, which claims Taiwan as a part of its territory to be seized sooner or later — by power if mandatory.
With Beijing growing its sabre-rattling in the direction of the island, Taiwan’s key ally america in September permitted the Taiwan Coverage Act — which might see new laws present billions in navy support to Taipei.
However there have been reported delays in delivering weapons, and Taiwan’s Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng on Monday confirmed that Washington has been discussing a separate — and fast-tracked — weapons package deal with Taipei.
“Using the $500 million package deal is geared toward prioritising supplying us with spot items (out there for rapid supply) over any delay or late supply in our arms procurement,” Chiu advised lawmakers when questioned in parliament concerning the “navy support” package deal.
“It must be carried out this yr,” he stated, including that the $500 million package deal “shouldn’t be counted into (earlier) arms gross sales” and that Taiwan can be asking first for its “priorities”.
Nevertheless, he didn’t elaborate on what kind of kit can be prioritised within the $500 million weapons package deal, saying solely that the small print can be thrashed out by each side quickly.
“For the delayed arms gross sales, they may make up by offering a few of their spot items or simulators or coaching gear,” he stated. “So when the arms are delivered sooner or later, we are able to begin utilizing them straight away.”
The US has for many years offered weapons to Taiwan.
However the determination in September goes a step additional — offering US safety help to the tune of $4.5 billion over 4 years, a transfer that has infuriated Beijing.
There have been some roadblocks in deliveries.
Taiwan’s defence ministry revealed final yr it was in search of replacements after Russia’s conflict in Ukraine led to a scarcity of Stinger anti-aircraft missiles.
Final week, the ministry introduced it was notified by Washington that the primary of the 66 superior new F-16V fighter jets it had beforehand ordered from america would come “out of the manufacturing facility” within the third quarter subsequent yr.
This places it nearly a yr not on time, and was blamed on pandemic-spurred provide disruptions.
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