0707: Arms Exports Delivery Solutions Act; Learn Ukraine Lessons and Protect Taiwan

Reps. Kim and McCaul Introduce New Bill to Expedite U.S. Arms Deliveries to Taiwan

On July 1, U.S. Representatives Young Kim (R-CA) and Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the “Arms Exports Delivery Solutions Act” (H.R.8259) to track transfers and expedite deliveries of U.S. arms sold to Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific allies amid growing Chinese aggression in the region.

“This bill would reaffirm the commitment of Congress to American allies, increase transparency of ongoing efforts to uphold security agreements and identify solutions to address delivery time lags,” according to a press statement from Rep. Kim.

The bill comes following reports from Defense News of a US$14.2-billion backlog of delayed arms shipments purchased by Taiwan from the U.S., including 66 F-16 fighter jets, Patriot missile system parts, Harpoon Block II surface-launched missiles, Stinger missiles, air-launched SLAM-ER missiles, and M109A6 Paladin howitzers.

The bill seeks to ensure that “defense equipment already purchased from the U.S. by Taiwan and other allies in the [Indo-Pacific] region are tracked and delivered as efficiently as possible as the Chinese Communist Party eyes further aggression,” Kim said.

“Delayed deliveries of Congressionally-approved sales to Taiwan are undermining our ability to deter an attack from China. This is incredibly concerning as China ramps up its belligerence towards Taiwan,” said McCaul.

An analyst at Taiwan’s Institute for National Defense and Security Research said that the new bill would “make the arms sales process transparent” and thus ensure that future delays are avoided.

Describing the bill as of “substantial significance to Taiwan,” another Taiwanese analyst at the institute said the proposed law would give U.S. lawmakers the authority to scrutinize government documents and flag nontechnical and administrative barriers that may hold up arms shipments.

Taiwan recently decided to cancel the planned purchases of 40 M109A6 Paladin self-propelled howitzers — which the U.S. approved in 2021 — after it was notified by Washington that the guns would not be delivered on time due to a lack of production capacity.

Read the bill text here.

[1] Rep. Young Kim’s Office: https://youngkim.house.gov/media/press-releases/rep-young-kim-introduces-bill-track-us-arms-transfers-taiwan-indo-pacific
[2] Focus Taiwan: https://focustaiwan.tw/politics/202207020019
[3] Taipei Times: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/front/archives/2022/07/03/2003781039

The West Must Learn from Ukraine Lessons and Protect Taiwan: U.K. Foreign Secretary

The West must learn from its mistakes in failing to deter Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and apply those lessons to “protect peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on June 30.

Truss said the West, and in particular countries in the Indo-Pacific region, had to make sure Taiwan was defended.

“We need to learn the lessons of Ukraine, which was that we could have ensured that Ukraine had the defensive capability earlier,” Truss told LBC radio.

“And that would have done more to deter Putin from invading, so-called deterrence by denial, and that is a similar approach to the approach we need to take for other sovereign nations, including Taiwan.”

At a NATO summit in Spain the previous day on June 29, Truss said that China would be making “a catastrophic miscalculation” if it invaded Taiwan. The U.K. and other countries should reconsider trading relationships with countries that use economic power in “coercive” ways, she added.

Speaking at the Madrid summit, Truss said that with China expanding its strategic ambitions, NATO’s new strategic concept should reference China specifically. The alliance’s core mission was last updated in 2010 and is due to be revised.

“I do think that with China extending its influence through economic coercion and building a capable military, there is a real risk that they draw the wrong idea that results in a catastrophic miscalculation such as invading Taiwan,” Truss said.

Truss’s comments came a day after she called for more rapid action to help Taiwan with defensive weapons in case China invaded, saying that was a key lesson from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On June 28, speaking before the Commons foreign affairs committee, Truss went notably beyond the U.K. government’s standard language on Taiwan by saying there was a need to provide Taiwan with defensive weapons.

“We should have done things earlier. We should have been supplying the defensive weapons into Ukraine earlier,” she said. “We need to learn that lesson for Taiwan. Every piece of equipment we have sent takes months of training, so the sooner we do it, the better.”

Nonetheless, on June 30, Truss avoided questions about whether she was suggesting that Britain should arm Taiwan, saying only: “We also need to make sure that together, the free world are ensuring that Taiwan has the defence capability it needs.”

Britain and at least six nations have been helping Taiwan in a secretive program to build submarines, a Reuters investigation found last year.

[1] Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uk-must-avoid-becoming-dependent-china-truss-2022-06-30/
[2] The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/29/chinese-invasion-of-taiwan-would-be-catastrophic-miscalculation-liz-truss