US House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is calling for the faster delivery of weapons and equipment to Taiwan amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an interview on Fox News on Sunday, the representative said that the ongoing war in Europe should serve as a “lesson” to the US government when responding to cross-strait tensions.
He claimed that Russia “probably never would have invaded” if the US had supplied weapons sooner.
“Ukraine was craving the ability to defend themselves,” McCarthy said. “Had we moved the weapons to Ukraine earlier it would have saved thousands of lives.”
The top Republican in the US House of Representatives is urging the US to avoid committing the “same mistake” again.
He explained that Taiwan has been waiting for more than a year for weapons and equipment it has purchased to defend against China.
McCarthy’s call comes amid international concern that the next conflict might be centered in the Taiwan Strait, as China continues to step up military activities around the island nation.
Taiwan’s Military Purchases From US
Last year, the US State Department approved the potential sale of $750 million in weapons and equipment to Taiwan.
The deal includes 155-millimeter Howitzer artillery systems; field artillery ammunition support vehicles; M88A2 Hercules vehicles; and upgrades for Taiwan’s previous generation of howitzers.
The southeast Asian nation also plans to procure additional Patriot III missiles from the US to bolster its air defense capabilities amid growing tensions with the mainland.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced the approval of up to $95 million worth of training and equipment to support Taiwan’s Patriot Air Defense System.