The US should prioritize Taiwan over Ukraine to deter China, US Senator Josh Hawley said on Thursday, citing limited military resources.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington, Hawley said the US’ military power “isn’t deployed where it should be.”
Hawley expressed similar views in a letter to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in December last year, saying that Washington should prioritize Taiwan when scheduling arms deliveries.
Blinken at the time said he disagreed with the stance, adding that the world’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would deter China.
Hawley said helping Ukraine would not deter China from trying to invade Taiwan.
Although there is bipartisan consensus in Washington that US help to Ukraine would affect China’s planning, the US should seek to stop Chinese expansionism in Asia, Hawley said.
Spending money on Ukraine would not stop China’s military buildup, he said.
“China is on the march and we are not prepared to stop them,” he said, adding that if China were to invade Taiwan now, “they would prevail.”
US “actions in Ukraine are directly affecting our ability to deter our most pressing adversary, and that is China,” he said.
To deter China from invading Taiwan, the US needs to supply the nation with many of the weapons it sent to Ukraine, he said, adding that the US defense industry is strapped for capacity.
Hawley said the US cannot defend Ukraine, stop China and fulfill its own military requirements at the same time, adding that it “shouldn’t have to.”
If China were to invade Taiwan, the US would face severe price increases and product shortages, he said.
A war over the nation would lead to a deep recession in the US, as it largely relies on Taiwanese semiconductors, he said.
Hawley called on NATO to take on the responsibility of supplying Ukraine with military resources to safeguard Europe while “deterring China from seizing Taiwan should be America’s top foreign policy priority.”
Meanwhile, top Republicans on US congressional foreign affairs and armed services committees on Thursday pressed US President Joe Biden to include US$2 billion in military assistance grants for Taiwan in his upcoming budget request.
US representatives Michael McCaul, chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, and Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Foreign Armed Services Committee, were joined by US senators Jim Risch, ranking Republican on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Roger Wicker, ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, in asking Biden to include the funding in Foreign Military Financing grants for Taiwan in his proposed budget for the fiscal year ending in September next year.
Congressional aides said they expect Biden to release the budget proposal on March 9.
In a letter to Biden, the four lawmakers called China’s military buildup and the recent incursion into US airspace of a high-altitude surveillance balloon “a grave threat” to US interests.
They also stressed the need to support Taiwan.
“To stop these trends, the United States must act with urgency to defend itself and ensure our allies and partners have the capabilities they need to defend against” the Chinese Communist Party, the letter said.
The US Congress late last year approved legislation authorizing US$10 billion over five years of military grants for Taiwan.
However, a spending bill passed days later did not include the funding.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.
ANTI-SHIP CONFIGURATION: The Tuo Chiang-class vessels are to be built for NT$9.7 billion by Lung Teh, a shipyard that previously built four similar corvettes for the navy The Ministry of National Defense on Wednesday awarded Lung Teh Shipbuilding (龍德造船) a NT$9.7 billion Co (US$317.57 million) contract to build five Tuo Chiang-class corvettes with anti-ship capabilities, a defense official familiar with the matter said yesterday. The corvettes would carry vertical launchers for four Hsiung Feng II (HF-2) missiles, as well as eight Hsiung Feng III (HF-3) anti-ship missiles, in contrast to ships configured for anti-air warfare, which carry eight HF-2 and four HF-3 missiles, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The anti-ship corvettes would be armed for improved standoff range against surface combatants and carry the latest
PARTIAL SUPPORT: Morris Chang said he agrees with the US’ goal to slow advances of China’s chip sector, but US policies that might boost chip prices perplex him Washington’s efforts to on-shore semiconductor production might lead to surges in chip prices and supply bottlenecks, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) said yesterday. The 91-year-old industry veteran said he supports parts of Washington’s effort to slow China’s progress on advanced chip manufacturing. China is still six years behind Taiwan in making advanced chips, despite years-long efforts to catch up, Chang told a Commonwealth Magazine forum that he coheadlined with Tufts University assistant professor Chris Miller, an expert on the US-China rivalry’s effects on chip manufacturing. However, Chang said that other parts of the effort, particularly Washington’s on-shoring
NINE TYPES: One of the devices can be carried by a single soldier and can destroy high-value, high-risk vehicles as well as target personnel, an official said Taiwan’s top military research body yesterday unveiled nine domestically developed drones in Taichung, including a loitering munition, or “suicide drone,” similar to the US-made AeroVironment Switchblade 300. The surveillance and attack drones shown to the media by the Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology included the Albatross medium-range uncrewed aerial vehicle Nos. 1 and 2, and the Teng Yun 2 and Cardinal 2 and 3 indigenous uncrewed combat aerial vehicles. The institute also unveiled a domestically made drone inspired by the AeroVironment Switchblade 300, which Ukrainian forces have employed in the country’s war with Russia. Aeronautical Systems Research Division head Chi Li-pin (齊立平)
‘WRONG DECISION’: Honduras should carefully consider the situation, and not fall into China’s trap and jeopardize the bilateral friendship, the foreign ministry said The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday said that it had expressed “grave concern” to the government of Honduras after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that it would pursue official diplomatic relations with China. In addition to issuing a statement, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui (俞大㵢) summoned Honduran Ambassador to Taiwan Harold Burgos to the ministry in Taipei early yesterday to voice the government’s concerns. The meeting lasted about 20 minutes and Burgos did not make any public comments upon arriving at the ministry. Burgos said shortly after noon that he had not yet heard from his country’s