US Senator Josh Hawley on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling on the two officials to prioritize arming Taiwan to deter a potential invasion by China over sending weapons to Ukraine
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 06th December, 2022) US Senator Josh Hawley on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin calling on the two officials to prioritize arming Taiwan to deter a potential invasion by China over sending weapons to Ukraine.
"I write with concern about reports that US arms transfers to Ukraine are impeding our ability to prevent a war in Asia by supplying Taiwan with the weapons it needs to deter a Chinese invasion," Hawley said in the letter.
The senator said Taiwan is more important for US national interests than Ukraine since Washington does not have the luxury of waiting for China to attack the island and it will be extremely difficult to deliver weapons to Taiwan after an invasion begins.
The senator added that Javelin and Stinger missiles, HIMARS rocket launchers and related weapons should be sent to Taiwan as quickly as possible and not be diverted to or delayed because of Ukraine.
At the same time, Hawley suggested tying any US arms transfers to Taiwanese defense spending increases and reforms, according to the letter.
Hawley cited a report by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission that found that the diversion of existing stocks of weapons and munitions to Ukraine and pandemic-related supply chain issues has exacerbated a sizeable backlog in the delivery of weapons already approved for sale to Taiwan, undermining the island's readiness.
US-China relations worsened after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in early August. Beijing condemned Pelosi's trip, which it regarded as a gesture of support for separatism, and launched large-scale military exercises in the vicinity of Taiwan. Nevertheless, several countries, including France, the United States, Japan and others, have sent their delegations to the island since then, further increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait.