Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the Biden administration to prioritize arming Taiwan over Ukraine.
Hawley is a China hawk and wants the US to start giving Taiwan billions in military aid each year. He has voted against Ukraine aid packages and NATO expansion because he thinks the US should be focusing more on building up in the Asia Pacific to confront China instead of Russia.
The senator said in his letter to Blinken that he believes “Taiwan is more important for US national interests than Ukraine.” The senator claimed that the US needs to start sending more arms to Taiwan to prevent a Chinese invasion, although Beijing’s recent rhetoric and actions have made clear they are more likely to attack if the US keeps ramping up support for Taipei.
The letter said that if both Taiwan and Ukraine need a certain weapon, it “should go to Taiwan first.” Hawley pointed to a massive backlog in deliveries of US weapons that have already been sold to Taiwan as an example of how the US is failing to arm the island.
“The backlog reportedly includes Javelin anti-tank weapons and Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. These weapons are vital to an asymmetric defense of Taiwan, but they have yet to arrive in Taiwan, even as the Administration has sent thousands to Ukraine,” he wrote.
Congress is working on starting giving Taiwan $3 billion in military aid each year, which is included in the draft 2023 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), although lawmakers are worried the funding might not make it past the appropriations committees. Either way, there is strong bipartisan support for significantly ramping up support for Taiwan.