According to Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense, the country's 750 million dollars artillery order was moved off U.S. production lines. The shipment initially planned for 2023 will take place three years later in 2026.
This order was the first arms deal between Taiwan and the US since President Joe Biden was sworn into office. A total of 40 M109A6 155 mm "Paladin" self-propelled howitzer systems and support vehicles and precision guidance kits were included.
On this basis, Taiwan is studying other weapon systems available to fill the gap, namely Lockheed Martin Corp.-produced rocket launchers based on trucks. After a decision is taken on this matter, the ministry will propose a budget proposal. The country has been making efforts at military modernization with precision and long-range weaponry to defend itself against a possible attack from mainland China.
The first deal approved by the Biden administration to sell $750 million worth of arms to #Taiwan, including 40 155mm M109A6 medium self-propelled howitzers, has been halted by the #US, Taiwan’s defense authority said. pic.twitter.com/osO8E8YpY3
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has expressed his country's commitment to protecting Taiwan by saying that the administration would ensure Taiwan had "all necessary means to defend itself against any potential aggression." China, for its part, has rejected U.S. meddling in the Taiwan issue, saying that Taiwan is a part of China and the one-China principle should be respected.
In this regard, Taiwan's Foreign Minister Joseph Wu said: "I think the Chinese government must be thinking or calculating how the U.S. or other major countries will come to Taiwan’s help or whether they’re going to come to Taiwan’s help. If Taiwan does not have any support, I think that will be a green light to aggression".
Amidst this scenario, Washington has been helping Kiev to make war with Russia by supplying large amounts of heavy weapons since the beginning of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine last February 24. So far, the U.S. has promised 90 howitzers and 140 000 rounds of 155 mm ammunition to Kiev.