Representatives Steve Chabot and Brad Sherman on Sept. 15 introduced the Accelerating Arms Transfers to Taiwan Act (H.R. 8842) which, if passed, would make Taiwan eligible for priority delivery of excess defense articles, according to a press release from Chabot’s office.
The bill would also require the Secretary of Defense to use the Special Defense Acquisition Fund to accelerate weapons procurement for Taiwan and authorize the creation of a war reserve stockpile on Taiwan.
“Taiwan faces an existential threat from the People’s Republic of China, a threat which the Taiwan Relations Act recognizes has profound implications for American interests in the Indo-Pacific,” said Chabot.
“The Ukraine model of weapons deliveries after an invasion starts is just not viable for the defense of an island,” the congressman said, adding that the Accelerating Arms Transfers to Taiwan Act would “help speed the transfer and delivery of those weapons, so that Taiwan is prepared before it is too late.”
Sending the ‘wrong signal’
The Taiwanese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Ou Jiangan on Thursday welcomed the introduction of the Accelerating Arms Transfers to Taiwan Act which she said showed the U.S.’s solid support for Taiwan’s security.
China has repeatedly protested against all Taiwan-related U.S. legislations, which it calls “U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs.”
Beijing announced a week-long military drill around Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on an official visit in August.
Chinese aircraft and warships began routinely crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait which has served as the de facto boundary between Taiwan and China’s mainland.
Earlier this month, the U.S. approved a U.S.$1.17 billion arms package including anti-ship and air-to-air missiles for Taiwan and over the weekend President Joe Biden said during an interview that the American military would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion.
Beijing immediately lodged “stern representations” with Washington, warning the U.S. not to send the “wrong signals” to those wanting Taiwan independence.
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