What will Biden do next?
On Monday, the Foreign Ministry of Taiwan announced that it is engaged in negotiations with the United States and anticipates the speedy delivery of a $500 million weaponry package before the year’s end.
According to Fox, during his testimony before the Taiwanese parliament this week, Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng provided specific information on the discussions. He clarified that the $500 million weaponry package is distinct from the $4.5 billion pledged by the U.S. for delivery to Taiwan in the next four years.
Chiu explained, “The use of the $500 million package is aimed at prioritizing supplying us with [immediately-available] goods over any delay or late delivery in our arms procurement. It should be implemented this year.”
A significant portion of the $4.5 billion package destined for Taiwan has experienced delays, which have been attributed in part to the U.S. government’s ongoing obligations to provide assistance to Ukraine.
Chiu added, “For the delayed arms sales, they will make up by providing some of their spot goods or simulators or training equipment. So when the arms are delivered in the future, we can start using them right away.”
“Spot goods” refer to products or goods that are readily available for delivery or immediate purchase. In the context of military equipment and weaponry, spot goods would refer to items that are currently in stock and can be quickly shipped to the intended destination.
Over the past few months, the relationship between the United States, Taiwan, and China has been marked by significant tension. This began with the visit of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022, and was followed by a similar visit by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen to the U.S. in April.
Although President Biden has repeatedly affirmed that the U.S. would take military action in the event of a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, the White House has subsequently tempered this stance, and the official position of the administration is one of “strategic ambiguity.” This approach seeks to maintain some degree of uncertainty as to how the U.S. would respond to such an event, in order to deter China from taking any aggressive actions against Taiwan.