After Taiwan’s complaint.. an American general calls for accelerating the pace of arms delivery

A senior US general said on Friday that it is imperative that the United States and its allies expedite the delivery of weapons to Taiwan In the coming years to help the island defend itself.

The United States is the most important arms supplier to Taiwan. Beijing has repeatedly called for an end to US arms sales to Taiwan, seeing it as unwarranted support for the democratically governed island that Beijing claims.

“The pace at which we, the United States, or other countries help Taiwan improve its defense (capabilities), I think probably needs to accelerate in the coming years,” General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Army’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters during a visit to Tokyo.

He added that Taiwan needs weapons such as air defense systems and weapons that can target ships from land. “I think it is important to improve Taiwan’s military and defense capabilities,” he said.

Since last year, Taiwan has complained about delays in deliveries of US weapons, such as Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, as arms producers have diverted supplies to Ukraine as it battles Russian forces. This issue has alarmed some US lawmakers.

Taiwan said its defense spending this year would focus on preparing weapons and equipment for a “comprehensive blockade” by China, including spare parts for F-16 fighter jets and replenishing weapons stocks.

China held war games around the island in August, fired missiles over Taipei and declared no-fly and no-fly zones, mimicking what it would do if it tried to blockade Taiwan during a war.

Milley said that relations between the United States and China are “in deep decline” and that recent diplomatic meetings, including between US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, were important to reduce the potential for escalation.

He added that the United States is studying whether it needs to change the location of some American forces within the Asia-Pacific region.

The majority of US forces in the region are located in Northeast Asia, including 28,500 troops in South Korea and 56,000 troops in Japan.

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