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U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot? Unnamed sources cited by NYT

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  • U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot? Unnamed sources cited by NYT
    U.S. Aims to Turn Taiwan Into Giant Weapons Depot

    Edward Wong and John Ismay
    Wed, October 5, 2022 at 2:55 PM

    WASHINGTON — American officials are intensifying efforts to build a giant stockpile of weapons in Taiwan after studying recent naval and air force exercises by the Chinese military around the island, according to current and former officials.

    The exercises showed that China would probably blockade the island as a prelude to any attempted invasion, and Taiwan would have to hold out on its own until the United States or other nations intervened, if they decided to do that, the current and former officials say.

    But the effort to transform Taiwan into a weapons depot faces challenges. The United States and its allies have prioritized sending weapons to Ukraine, which is reducing those countries’ stockpiles, and arms makers are reluctant to open new production lines without a steady stream of long-term orders.

    And it is unclear how China might respond if the United States accelerates shipments of weapons to Taiwan, a democratic, self-governing island that Beijing claims is Chinese territory.

    U.S. officials are determining the quantity and types of weapons sold to Taiwan by quietly telling Taiwanese officials and American arms makers that they will reject orders for some large systems in favor of a greater number of smaller, more mobile weapons. The Biden administration announced Sept. 2 that it had approved its sixth weapons package for Taiwan — a $1.1 billion sale that includes 60 Harpoon coastal anti-ship missiles. U.S. officials are also discussing how to streamline the sale-and-delivery process...

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