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US lawmakers call for US$2 billion more in arms for Taiwan after Xi threats

Xi reportedly told Biden peace and stability less important than solving Taiwan question

Mike Gallagher ponders over game board simulating Chinese invasion of Taiwan. (Twitter, The Select Committee on the CCP photo)

Mike Gallagher ponders over game board simulating Chinese invasion of Taiwan. (Twitter, The Select Committee on the CCP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Republican members of the House China Select Committee on Sunday (Nov. 19) sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate and House to provide Taiwan with US$2 billion (NT$62.49 billion) in additional military aid and to allocate another US$10 billion to bolstering U.S. defenses in the region.

House China Select Committee Chair Mike Gallagher was joined by six panel Republicans in sending a letter to House Speaker Mike Johnson, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They concurred with the Biden Administration's assertion that the region is entering a "decisive decade," but described its supplemental appropriations request for the Indo-Pacific as "wholly inadequate."

The representatives said the US$2 billion in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for the Indo-Pacific, and Taiwan specifically, will fortify the region's defenses. They said the FMF grants can increase and accelerate defensive capabilities, such as Harpoon missiles, mine-laying, air defense, anti-armor, drones, and multiple rocket launch platforms.

To adequately "meet the urgency of the CCP threat," they argued that an additional US$2 billion should be added to backfill the Presidential Drawdown Authority to send more U.S. armaments to Taiwan. They said that this should include the US$650 million in Taiwan drawdown authority that the Biden administration allowed to expire in fiscal year 2023.

Additionally, the Republicans called for a further US$10 billion to strengthen U.S. military capabilities in the region. They said that this should include "maxing out" the manufacturing of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command's critical munitions and pouring concrete for new facilities. Munitions cited included long-range anti-ship missiles, naval strike missiles, Patriot batteries, ATACMS, PrSMs, Harpoons, and Joint Strike Missiles.

In an interview with Face the Nation on Monday (Nov. 20), Gallagher said that Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平) "tripled down on his threats to Taiwan." According to Gallagher, Xi told Biden during their summit on Nov. 15 that "peace and stability in the region are less important than solving the Taiwan question."

Gallagher pointed out that Chinese state-run media cited Xi as saying that the U.S. should "honor its commitment of not supporting 'Taiwan independence,' stop arming Taiwan, and support China's peaceful reunification." He argued that no amount of "relentless diplomacy" will have any effect without addressing the fundamental problem which is that "the balance of hard power" in the Taiwan Strait and across the Indo-Pacific region is "eroding and with it, the risk of war is increasing."