Taiwan’s defense minister said Monday that Taipei needs long-range and accurate weapons to deter China from a potential invasion.
“The development of equipment must be long-range, precise, and mobile, so that the enemy can sense that we are prepared as soon as they dispatch their troops,” Taiwanese Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng told parliament.
Taiwan has proposed a plan to spend an extra $8 billion on new weapons over the next five years, which still needs to be approved by parliament. The additional funds would be used to purchase missiles, potentially long-range ones.
Typically US arms sales to Taiwan are for defensive weapons that could be used to fight off an invasion. But last year, the Trump administration approved the sale of missiles and rockets that could reach mainland China.
The $1.8 billion arms package that was approved in October 2020 includes 135 AGM-84H cruise missiles with a striking range of more than 168 miles and 11 truck-based rocket launchers with 64 missiles that can reach up to 186 miles.
So far, the Biden administration has approved one weapons package for Taiwan that includes howitzers and related equipment. But if Taiwan seeks long or medium-range missiles, the US will likely be happy to oblige since Washington is looking to position missiles around China.