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US making progress in backlog of arms deliveries to Taiwan

National Security Council head says shipment delay will not last much longer

Taiwan F-16V fighter jets. (Reuters photo) 

Taiwan F-16V fighter jets. (Reuters photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The U.S. has been making progress in ensuring weapons are making their way to Taiwan, National Security Council Secretary General Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said recently.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Koo said that U.S. officials have urged defense contractors to accelerate the delivery of weapons to Taiwan, but he did not disclose specific details about the US$19 billion (NT$614.85 billion) backlog of arms shipments to Taiwan. Weapons have been delayed due to a multitude of factors such as U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

The delay will not last too long, Koo said. He also said the U.S. has made significant efforts to ensure Taiwan gets the weapons it needs, especially those with asymmetric capabilities.

According to Bloomberg, both the U.S. and Taiwan governments believe that strengthening Taiwan's ability to counter China is crucial to preventing a potential cross-strait conflict. However, the backlog of arms hinders efforts to enhance Taiwan's defense.

The secretary-general said he believes that while China is unlikely to launch any major military operation in the near future, with assistance from other countries, Taiwan would be able to fend off any attack.

Among the weapons Taiwan is still waiting to receive, are Harpoon missiles, F-16V fighter jets, and M1A2 Abrams tanks.