A number of factors seemingly converging at the same time are increasing the likelihood that Taiwan could soon be invaded.
For starters, Taiwan elected Lai Ching-te of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as their next president last week, who has vowed to keep the island nation independent from communist China. This comes despite China’s warnings that Taiwan will be reunited with it either through elections or through the Chinese military invading the country.
Combine the election results with China’s economy being in bad shape and the possibility that Joe Biden’s presidency could soon come to an end — which has been hallmarked with projecting weakness when it comes to dealing with foreign adversaries — and the likelihood increases that China could view the near future as their best opportunity to invade Taiwan.
Those fears are like to surge even further given a new report from The Wall Street Journal this week that warns that billions of dollars worth of American weapons that Taiwan needs to defend itself from Chinese invasion have not been delivered and could still be years away from arriving.
“Most contracts for defense equipment signed under both the Trump and Biden administrations have been stalled by bureaucratic delays and capacity limits at defense manufacturers, creating a $19 billion backlog of uncompleted orders” the report said.
Former Taiwanese defense minister Andrew Yang said that Taiwan has asked to receive at least limited quantities of the weapons so they can begin training with the weapons systems, and they have received no response.
“One of the largest deals—a $2.37 billion contract for 400 Harpoon antiship missiles and related equipment—was signed in 2020 without a delivery date specified at the time,” the report added. “The Pentagon issued an order for the production of the same number of missiles last year, with completion of the project slated for March 2029. It didn’t name the buyer, but a Taiwan government official said Taipei understands it is the same order.”
Taiwan is also waiting to receive dozens of High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones, tanks, torpedoes and other missiles.