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Taiwan fears that stalled Ukraine aid foreshadows their future if China invades

Taiwan fears that stalled Ukraine aid foreshadows their future if China invades
  • Taiwanese officials expressed concern to a visiting US delegation about stalled aid to Ukraine.

  • The island is concerned what that means for US support if China invaded them.

  • Taiwan is also anxious about what would happen if Donald Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.

Taiwanese officials have expressed concerns about stalled US aid to Ukraine, fearing implications for US defense support in the event of a Chinese invasion.

During a three-day visit to the self-governing island, Taiwanese officials repeatedly questioned a visiting US congressional delegation about US support for Ukraine, Politico reported.

US and senior Taiwanese officials, including President Tsai Ing-wen and President-elect Lai Ching-te, attended the meetings.

"Taiwan is extremely interested in Ukraine and extremely worried that we might walk away from Ukraine," Rep. Mike Gallagher, the chair of the House Select Committee on China, told reporters on Friday following the Taiwan visit, Politico reported.

Taiwan has long feared a possible invasion due to rising tensions with its neighbor and China's historical claims of sovereignty over the island.

Taiwan is concerned about a Trump victory

Taiwan Military
Taiwanese soldiers stand in front of M60A3 tanks during a military drill in Hualien, eastern Taiwan, January 30, 2018.Reuters

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, the US has become its biggest ally, sending billions of dollars worth of aid.

However, recent attempts by President Joe Biden to pass more aid packages have been stalled by Republicans.

"They are watching the supplemental requests for Ukraine like hawks, and they view Ukraine prevailing against the criminal invasion by Russia as incredibly important in sending a message to the Chinese Communist Party," committee member Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi said, per Politico.

Last week, the Senate approved a $95 billion foreign aid package, which includes about $1.9 billion to replace US munitions supplied to Taiwan.

However, House Speaker Mike Johnson has vowed to block the bill unless it includes measures to stop migration into the United States across the Mexican border.

Taiwanese officials are further concerned about a potential Donald Trump victory in the 2024 presidential election and what that would mean for US support of Taiwan.

When asked in July 2023 whether Trump would defend Taiwan if it were invaded, he responded: "If I answer that question, it'll put me in a very bad negotiating position."

"With that being said, Taiwan did take all of our chip business," he added, referring to the dominance of the Taiwanese semiconductor industry.

Trump has also raised alarm after he recently suggested that he would let Russia attack non-paying NATO countries.

The congressional delegation tried to alloy Taiwan's fears, with Gallagher saying: "The people in Taiwan should be confident that regardless of how fractious our election gets, America will stand firmly with Taiwan."

While the US has been increasing its arms sales to Taiwan, there is a $19 billion worth of weapons backlog due to supply chain issues.

Gallagher said that the backlog won't be resolved "anytime soon" and said the problem required "creative" solutions, such as shifting the production of US aerial and submersible drones to Taiwan, per Politico.

China has for decades pressured governments not to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and has promised to "unify" the self-governed island with the mainland by 2050.

The US has long attempted to maintain a delicate balance between supporting Taiwan and preventing war with China. Tensions heightened following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visiting Taipei, Taiwan's capital, in 2022.

In response to her visit, China conducted military drills around Taiwan and said that further "training and war preparation" would continue.

Read the original article on Business Insider