President Joe Biden has reportedly notified Congress that he intends to shift tens of millions of dollars from Egypt to Taiwan for failing to improve in areas that were required to receive the money.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration will withhold $85 million in aid while some lawmakers are pushing the administration to withhold an additional $235 million. The deadline for authorizing the withholding of the aid is September 30.
U.S. officials said that the shifting of money comes in response to Egypt failing to “make progress on human rights and other issues,” the report said.
The conditional aid is only a fraction of the $1.3 billion that the U.S. gives Egypt per year, the report noted, which comes as the two countries have growing disagreements on a variety of matters.
The report said that the administration is planning to redirect at least $55 million to Taiwan and $30 million to Lebanon.
Taiwan is facing rising threats of military confrontation with communist China and Lebanon has been in a state of upheaval ever since a massive explosion in Beirut in 2020.
The news comes as Taiwan is set to purchase 400 Harpoon anti-ship missiles from the U.S. — a formidable weapon that could make an attempted invasion by China nearly impossible.
Rupert Hammond-Chambers, president of the US-Taiwan Business Council, told Bloomberg that the contract with Boeing on Taiwan’s behalf by the US Naval Air Systems Command marks the first time the island will have purchased land-launched versions of the missile.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the House Select Committee on China, said earlier this year that the U.S. needed to provide Taiwan with weapons and the U.S. needed to “be moving heaven and earth to surge power out to the Indo-Pacific before it’s too late, before we have another war on our hands.”
Gallagher said that the “most important” weapon that the U.S. needed to send to Taiwan are “Harpoon anti-ship missiles.”
“I remain convinced that there’s more we can do to move Taiwan to the front of the line, ahead of Saudi Arabia, for example, when it comes to Harpoon deliveries, as well as take the Harpoon missiles that we’re putting into deep storage, that we’re de-milling, and change around a few aspects of them so that we can deliver them to Taiwan,” he said. “We could also explore licensing certain weapons systems so the Taiwanese could produce them domestically. But, at the end of the day, it just comes down to energy and focus and prioritization from the executive branch. We need the secretary of defense himself to get involved, to make this a daily priority for the backlog to get cleared.”
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