Taiwan’s leadership ‘extremely worried’ US could abandon Ukraine – POLITICO


The issue of U.S. support for Ukraine came up repeatedly in meetings that Gallagher and CODEL members including committee ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.) had with senior officials including Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Lai Ching-te. “They are watching the supplemental requests for Ukraine like hawks and they view Ukraine prevailing against the criminal invasion by Russia as incredibly important in sending a message to the Chinese Communist Party,” Krishnamoorthi said.

The potential for a Trump victory in the U.S. presidential election and the possibility that it might result in a change in traditional U.S. support for Taiwan is also worrying its leaders. The CODEL tried to ease those fears by assuring their Taiwanese hosts of the strong bipartisan congressional support for the island. “The people in Taiwan should be confident that regardless of how fractious our election gets, America will stand firmly with Taiwan,” Gallagher said.

Those concerns reflect the knock-on effect of the impasse on Capitol Hill in supplying Ukraine the weaponry it needs to fend off Russian aggression.

The congressional deadlock has frozen U.S. military aid to Kyiv and prompted warnings from the Pentagon that Ukrainian soldiers on the front lines are running out of ammunition and other weapons needed to fight the invading Russian forces. That has spooked a Taiwanese leadership that is also heavily reliant on U.S. arms to deter repeated threats from Chinese leader Xi Jinping to use force to “reunify” with Taiwan.

Taiwan is already struggling with a bottleneck in U.S. arms deliveries. The Biden administration has increased the tempo of arms sales approvals for the self-governing island, but some $19 billion of those weapons — including Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Stinger surface-to-air missiles — are yet to be delivered because of the supply chain issues.

Gallagher said that backlog is “not getting fixed anytime soon” and required “creative” solutions, including shifting the production of U.S. aerial and submersible drones to Taiwan to speed up their deployment to Taiwanese military units.

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