The U.S. has offered $500 million worth "free" weapons, mostly misiles to Taiwan earlier procured by Taipei but not yet delivered by Washington, its Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng said yesterday.
Taiwan has signed up to buy various types of missiles during the last couple of years from the U.S., including anti-radiation and Sidewinder missiles for its F-16 Jets besides Harpoon and Stinger missiles.
Taiwanese Defense Minister Qiu Guozheng as saying M0nday, "weapons worth $500 million should come directly from the American arsenals, and we are talking about missiles."
"These additional weapons will be given to us free of charge. They do not replace the weapons being sold, the delivery dates of which the United States has postponed."
The arms package is being offered by the U.S. government to “compensate for defense loopholes created by delays in the delivery of weapons that Taiwan has procured,” Chiu told a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee in Taipei, local media reported
“Once such a package is approved, the US and Taiwan would double-check weapons that have been procured by Taiwan, but have yet to be delivered. The US government could then start delivering some of the weapons that they have at the moment or alternatives to meet the demands of Taiwan,” Chiu was quoted as saying.
However, a report in Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said that The Taiwanese authorities have been discussing with the United States the possibility of free arms supplies to Taipei worth $500 million.
In addition, under this aid package, the Taiwanese military will receive support for training in the use of transferred weapons. Qiu Guozheng specified that the timing of these deliveries should be announced later in Washington.