Taipei Stays is concerned about the ongoing delays from the US regarding military supplies in the time of an Impending Invasion across the Taiwan Straits.
Taiwan is taking all steps possible to prepare itself for an impending invasion from China. The island has changed its country’s enlistment policy, extending the service period from 4 months to one year. The US and its allies have also expressed their commitment to defend the island and one of them is by providing an arsenal to develop self-defence capabilities.
Taiwan has been facing delays in the delivery of the New-F16V fighter jets from the US due to supply chain disruptions as per the statement of Taiwanese Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-Cheng. He also added that the defence ministry is working to reduce the damages and to make up for the shortfalls.
Deal Between US-Taiwan
The United States allowed Aerospace company, Lockheed Martin Cooperation and Taiwan to seal a deal of 8 billion USD sale of F-16 fighter jets in 2019, as a measure to deter China’s rising threat in the straits. The American Company has had a long partnership with Taiwan since 1986 and has provided significant support through the sale of technology and the provision of technical support by the firm. Due to this, the firm has been marred by Chinese Sanctions in February this year.
Taipei has converted 141 F-16A/B jets into the F-16V type with the latest weapons, radar systems and other relevant technologies apart from the order. This would help Taiwanese Forces to counter the Chinese air force which has the J-20 stealth fighter in their fleet.
As per the Taiwanese Defense Ministry statement, the first dispatchment of the brand-new fighter jets was expected in the last quarter of 2023 but has been pushed to the third quarter of the next year of the new F-16Vs due to pandemic-related issues.
Statements Given till Now
The defence ministry addressed the delay concerns in the Parliament at Taipei, stating he urged the USA to cover up for the deficiency which also included the deliveries of the spare parts of the existing military arsenal and expected that the full order will be received by 2026. He added that the ministry is using multiple channels which include the American Institute in Taiwan also known as the defacto “US Embassy in Taipei” to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The Company, Lockheed Martin stated that they are committed to its long defence-building partnership with Taiwan and its relationship with the US. The company added that the queries related to military sales should be directed to the concerned authorities ie the U.S. government and the Taiwanese Defense Ministry.
US Congress Member, Michael McCaul who is also the chairman of the “U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee” gave a statement during his visit to Taipei last month on reassuring the Taiwanese that the US was doing everything possible to speed up the delivery.
Concerns at Taipei
Taipei has complained about the American Delays since 2022 which also include weapons like Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. This could be due to the diversion of priorities of the manufacturers towards Ukraine which is combating Russian forces.
It has been an issue of concern for the two parties as China is growing its military power in the present day and with their attempts to suppress the Hong Kong Independence Movement, Taiwan could be the major target for the People’s Republic of China to successfully unify the country as “One China”.
Geopolitical experts are still trying to predict the time when the impending invasion begins and with the uncertainty, Taiwan will stay on guard and continue preparing to defend itself.